Dwelling approvals down
ABS Building Approvals show that the number of dwellings approved fell 10.7 per cent in October 2011, in seasonally adjusted terms, following a fall of 14.2% in September.
Dwelling approvals decreased for the month of October in Queensland (-19.5%), Victoria (-18.0%), Tasmania (-12.8%), South Australia (-3.4%) and New South Wales (-0.4%) but rose in Western Australia (2.1%) in seasonally adjusted terms.
In seasonally adjusted terms, approvals for private sector houses fell 7.5% in October with falls in Victoria (-12.3%), Queensland (-5.9%), Western Australia (-5.9%), New South Wales (-1.6%) and South Australia (-0.3%).
The value of total building approved decreased 2.4% in October in seasonally adjusted terms, following a decrease of 14.1% in September.
The value of residential building fell 6.1% while non-residential building rose 4.7%.
With residential building approvals falling sharply again in October the negative trend that developed one year ago has worsened, according to Master Builders Australia, the peak body for the building and construction industry.
Master Builders Australia chief economist Peter Jones said confidence in the residential sector had plummeted and although this figure predates the November rate cut the Reserve Bank would need to do more to turn the situation around.
"Activity in both private sector houses and other dwellings (units and apartments) - is sliding alarmingly after a bleak run of results through the course of 2011," Mr Jones said.
"The latest building approval figures are in line with the findings of recent Master Builders' national surveys that reveal the extent of the deterioration in residential building conditions.
"Sales and forward orders have fallen away dramatically in the past year as cautious clients, overseas events and difficulties accessing finance work against the industry."
He said the immediate challenge was to restore confidence and drive a private sector recovery in the building sector.
"The residential building industry is banking on further rate cuts to help boost confidence and stabilise an uncertain market."