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8750.0 - Building Activity, Australia: Dwelling Unit Commencements, Preliminary, Dec 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/03/2004   
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DECEMBER KEY FIGURES

Dec qtr 03
Sep qtr 03 to Dec qtr 03
Dec qtr 02 to Dec qtr 03
no.
% change
% change

Trend estimates

Dwelling units commenced
New private sector houses
29,801
5.6
6.5
Total dwelling units
43,707
4.6
0.6

Seasonally Adjusted

Dwelling units commenced
New private sector houses
30,305
6.2
10.5
Total dwelling units
44,853
8.1
3.5

Dwelling units commenced—Total
Graph: Dwelling units commenced, Total

New houses commenced—Private sector
Graph: New houses commenced, Private sector



DECEMBER KEY POINTS


TREND ESTIMATES
  • The trend estimate for the total number of dwelling units commenced rose 4.6% in the December quarter 2003, the second successive quarterly increase.
  • New private sector houses rose 5.6% in the latest quarter, the third successive quarterly increase.


SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES
  • In seasonally adjusted terms, the total number of dwelling units commenced rose 8.1%, to 44,853, in the December quarter. This is 3.5% more than the number a year earlier.
  • New private sector house commencements rose 6.2%, to 30,305. This is 10.5% more than a year earlier and the highest since the March quarter 2000.
  • With the exception of New South Wales, all states and territories recorded increases in the total number of dwelling commencements. The Australian Capital Territory showed the largest increase (+71.4%) followed by Victoria (up 15.2% to the second highest number on record), Queensland (up 15.1% to be the highest for nine years) and Western Australia (+14.3%). New South Wales fell by 10.6% to the lowest number since the June quarter 2001.


NOTES


ABOUT THIS ISSUE

This publication provides an early indication of trends in the number of dwelling units commenced. The data are estimates based on a response rate of approximately 90% of a sample of building jobs collected in the Building Activity Survey. More comprehensive and updated results will be released in Building Activity, Australia (cat. no. 8752.0) on 19 April 2004.


SIGNIFICANT REVISIONS THIS ISSUE

The total number of dwelling units commenced in Australia during the September quarter 2003 has been revised downwards by 360 (-0.8%) from the estimate published in Building Activity, Australia, September quarter 2003 (cat. no. 8752.0) released on 19 January 2004.

The seasonally adjusted and trend series have been revised as a result of the annual review of concurrent seasonal factors. See paragraphs 13 to 19 of the Explanatory Notes. As part of this review, the method of generating the seasonally adjusted series has been revised and is explained in paragraph 14.


INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


SUMMARY COMMENTARY


ORIGINAL ESTIMATES

Dec qtr 03
Sep qtr 03 to Dec qtr 03
Dec qtr 02 to Dec qtr 03
no.
% change
% change

Dwelling units commenced
New private sector houses
30,779
2.1
10.6
Other private sector dwellings
14,689
17.8
-7.7
Public sector dwellings
674
-45.4
-21.1
Total dwelling units
46,142
5.3
3.5

  • The total number of dwelling units commenced rose 5.3% in the December quarter 2003 to 46,142.
  • New private sector house commencements rose 2.1%, to 30,779. The Australian Capital Territory recorded the largest percentage increase (+21.0%) followed by Tasmania (14.6%), Western Australia (+6.8%) and New South Wales (+5.0%). Victoria, down by 5.3%, was the only state or territory to record a fall.
  • Other private sector dwellings rose 17.8% to 14,689. The two territories recorded the largest percentage increases, both from a low number reported in the previous quarter. Of the states, Western Australia recorded the largest percentage increase (+76.5%), followed by Victoria (+47.3%), South Australia (+37.1%) and Queensland (+29.7%). New South Wales, down by 20.8%, was the only state to record a fall.
  • The total number of public sector dwellings commenced fell 45.4% to 674, a record low.
Graph: ORIGINAL ESTIMATES


NEW SOUTH WALES
Graph: Dwelling unit commencements, New South Wales


Following six quarters of growth starting with the June quarter 2001, the trend estimate of commencements has fallen for the last five quarters.


VICTORIA
Graph: Dwelling unit commencements, Victoria


The trend estimate of commencements is now showing a rise for the last two quarters, following four quarters of decline.


QUEENSLAND
Graph: Dwelling unit commencements, Queensland


After a small downturn in late 2002 to early 2003, the trend estimate of commencements has resumed the growth which began with the June quarter 2001.


SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Graph: Dwelling unit commencements, South Australia


The trend estimate of commencements is now showing a rise for the last two quarters, following three quarters of decline.


WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Graph: Dwelling unit commencements, Western Australia


The trend estimate of commencements has risen steadily for the last 11 quarters, commencing with the June quarter 2001.


TASMANIA
Graph: Dwelling unit commencements, Tasmania


Starting with the June quarter 2001, the trend estimate of commencements has shown strong growth other than a brief lull in the last half of 2002.


NORTHERN TERRITORY
Graph: Dwelling unit commencements, Northern Territory


Since arresting a downward trend in the March quarter 2001, the trend estimate of commencements has been relatively flat, with the last two quarters showing growth.


AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
Graph: Dwelling unit commencements, Australian Capital Territory


Following falls in the previous three quarters, the trend estimate of commencements rose in the latest quarter.

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