Surprise jump in June building approvals

(Australian Associated Press)


Approvals for the construction of new homes jumped 6.4 per cent in June, well above the one per cent improvement economists had expected, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.

Approvals for private sector houses were up five per cent in June in seasonally adjusted terms, while the ‘other dwellings’ category, which includes apartment blocks and townhouses, jumped 7.2 per cent.

Over the 12 months to June, total building approvals for dwellings rose 1.6 per cent.

National Australia Bank economist Kaixin Owyong says the latest data should reassure the market that a fall in May approvals was “more noise than signal” and indicates building approvals remain at solid levels.

ANZ economists Felicity Emmett and Jack Chambers said despite the strong performance in June, the peak in housing approvals has passed and the ongoing tightening of credit is likely to see approvals continue to fall.

“The backlog of work will keep activity elevated over the near term but construction is expected to fall through the end of this year and 2019,” the ANZ team said in a report.

The Australian dollar got a boost on the back of the data, trading at 74.28 US cents at 1630 AEST, after trading at 74.13 US cents immediately before the release of the data at 1130 AEST.


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