The ABS released its March building approvals data for Victoria recently and, like previous quarters, it shows further decline in the number of building approvals in the residential sector. While the tighter credit market is attributed largely to this decline, the current federal election and the potential effect its outcome may have on housing tax policy is also affecting consumer confidence in the housing market.

Key highlights

  • Total monthly and quarterly building approvals for March 2019 fell by 27 per cent and 9.2 per cent respectively. Apartments/units are driving this fall largely.
  • Apartment/unit approvals fell by a staggering 50.1 per cent for the month of March and 12.5 per cent for the March quarter.
  • Number of building approvals in Victoria over the 12 months to March 2019 totalled 63,020 – 14.4 per cent less compared to the same time last year (73,636). Of this, houses and apartment/unit approvals fell by 1.5 per cent and 28.8 per cent respectively in the same period.