DWELLING approvals in Western Australia in October 2018 fell by less than one per cent to 1241.
In WA approvals fell by 14.2 per cent in annual average terms and dropped by 8.8 per cent over the three months to October.
Total seasonally, adjusted dwelling approvals in October fell in SA by 17.0 per cent, Tas by 3.0 per cent, Vic by 2.6 per cent, Qld by 1.1 per cent and NSW by 0.5 per cent – in WA they fell by 0.1 per cent.
In trend terms, total dwelling approvals in October fell by 12.5 per cent in the NT and increased by 0.8 per cent in the ACT.
With housing finance increasingly difficult to access and home prices in Sydney and Melbourne continuing to decline, the flow of new homes being approved for construction continues to recede, according to HIA economist Diwa Hopkins.
ABS data released shows a total of 17,070 homes (seasonally adjusted) were approved for construction in the month of October 1.5 per cent fewer than in the previous month and 13.2 per cent fewer than in October 2017.
The monthly decline in total approvals was driven by multi-unit homes, which declined by 5.4 per cent, while detached house approvals increased by 1.7 per cent.
“While the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s restrictions were designed to curb high risk lending practices, ordinary home buyers are now also experiencing delays and constraints in accessing finance,” she said.
“A credit squeeze has emerged in the latter half of 2018 and this is playing a major role in slowing the flow of new home building work entering the pipeline.
“Households who are seeking to buy new homes are often not receiving sufficient finance, while for those who do receive adequate financing, it now takes much longer to reach that milestone.
“A downturn in new home building has long been anticipated. The current credit squeeze however risks the pace and magnitude of the decline developing into something faster and greater than expected.’’