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NSW leads building approvals decline
Released 10 January 2011

Building approvals continued their downhill run in November 2010 after a temporary reprieve in October, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

HIA Senior Economist, Andrew Harvey, said total residential building approvals fell by 4.2% in November 2010 to be down by 9.9% over the year.

Much of the monthly November headline result was driven by a 13.4% fall in NSW approvals, although this follows a strong 18.0% increase in October.

The November approvals figures also see falls of 2.7% in South Australia and 15.6% in Tasmania. Meanwhile Victoria, Queensland, WA and the ACT saw rises of 3.1%, 3.3%, 7.1% and 1.5% respectively.

“The November figures suggest that the October uptick in building approvals was a blip on an otherwise downwards trajectory,” Harvey said.

Harvey added he thought it was unlikely residential building activity would improve anytime soon.

“It’s unfortunate to begin the New Year with disappointing building approvals data which point to subdued housing starts in the first quarter of 2011. The real concern is that the November figures would not have felt the full impact of the November interest rate hikes by the RBA and the banks.”