Housing approvals up in the top end

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures for June 2016 reveal a 4.2 per cent increase in new dwelling approvals in the Northern Territory.

The same set of figures indicate that new home building approvals fell in most other Australian states, with a 2.9 per cent decline occurring nationally.

While this slight increase in approvals in the territory is promising, Neilia Ginnane, executive director of the Housing Industry Association (HIA) says forecasts continue to indicate a downward cycle for at least the next six months.

“The first half of the year has been challenging for the territory’s residential building industry and the residential property market in general, a result of many factors including reduced consumer confidence, minimal population growth and uncertainty around taxation for investors and new home buyers in the lead up to the Federal Election.

“We expect that after the Northern Territory Government election in August, activity in new home building will continue at reduced activity levels before improving toward mid-2017.

“Homebuyers and investors need greater assurances around the direction of long-term policy to determine how best to spend their investment dollars,” she adds.

“This is greatly affected by the stamp duty burden, with homebuyers in the NT suffering some of the highest rates in the country.”

With the Reserve Bank announcing further cuts to the Official Cash Rate (OCR) – reducing it to the new low of 1.50 per cent – Ginnane says this will provide further incentives for new homebuyers to enter the market.


During June 2016, total seasonally-adjusted new home building approvals rose most strongly in South Australia (+12.4 per cent), with increases also occurring in Victoria (+4.1 per cent) and Western Australia (+2.5 per cent).


Tasmania experienced the largest fall in approvals (-23.9 per cent), with reductions also affecting New South Wales (-4.0 per cent) and Queensland (-2.1 per cent).

The Australian Capital Territory fell by 2.7 per cent.

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