Urban Taskforce | Media Releases
NSW continues to suffer sharp falls in building approvals
30 August 2011New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today confirm that NSW is experiencing a much sharper decline in building approvals, than any of the other larger states.
The Urban Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said that since March, in trend terms private sector home approvals have declined by 13.1 per cent while in Victoria theyve fallen by 9.1 per cent, Western Australia by 4.2 per cent and Queensland by 2.8 per cent.
NSW private sector home approvals are plummeting at more than double the national rate, Mr Gadiel said.
Mr Gadiel said there had been declines in approvals for all housing types, but medium and high density development had been hit particularly hard.
Since March, NSWs private sector detached house approvals have declined, in trend terms, by 2.9 per cent, he said.
This roughly matched the decline in Victoria of 2.7 per cent, and aligns with Western Australias decline of 2.9 per cent.
However, for private sector medium and high density development, the drop has been massive with a 24.4 per cent plunge in NSW, compared with a 9.2 per cent fall across the country.
Mr Gadiel said that, in seasonally adjusted terms, July did see a 5.7 per cent increase in NSWs private sector home approvals.
Unfortunately, neither this increase, nor the 4.5 per cent increase in June, were enough to offset the 25.6 per cent decline experienced over April and May.
Monthly figures are volatile, which makes the trend figures the most important benchmark in working out the direction of approval rates.
Mr Gadiel said that the trend in NSWs non-residential building development was also negative.
July saw a further 2.1 per cent decline, in trend terms, in the value non-residential building approved in NSW, bringing the decline over the period March through to July to 16 per cent, he said.
This compares with Victorias 9.7 per cent decline, Western Australias 7.4 per cent fall and Queenslands 7.3 drop, over the same period.
Mr Gadiel said that urgent action by the NSW Government is required in the light of these continued falls.
Mr Gadiel said the industry was seeking:
¢ appeal rights for rezoning applicants;
¢ the abolition or dramatic reform of development levies;
¢ timely decision-making enforced by a mandatory timetable;
¢ more flexibility for individual development proposals to be assessed on their own merits, rather than through rigid pre-determined local council controls;
¢ a better decision-making process - at arm's-length from parochial politics - when a key reason for a development is to service the needs of people who aren't currently locals; and
¢ special legislation to restore business confidence in past planning approvals.
The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.
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