Australian Home-Building Approvals Fell in July

By James Glynn Features Dow Jones Newswires

The number of Australian home building permits fell in July from June led by renewed weakness in approvals for apartments.

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Approvals to build or renovate houses and apartments declined 1.7% in July from June, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.

In June, approvals rose by 11.7%.

Approvals in July fell 13.9% from a year earlier, the statistician said.

Permits to build houses were unchanged from a month earlier, while approvals for apartments fell 6.7%.

While diverse in character from region to region, Australia's housing market is showing signs of being oversupplied in some key markets, especially in the area of apartments.

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A building boom has been underway in the apartment space for some time as Australians have made as shift toward more high rise living, closer to central business districts.

A drop in new apartment sales in July contributed to a continuing decline in Australian new-home sales, according to the Housing Industry Association released on Tuesday.

Amid a 16% slide in multi-unit sales, volumes declined 3.7% from June--adding to a steady drop since new-home sales peaked 2 years ago.

The HIA data showed affordability is an issue, coming amid many warnings that stellar price gains in recent years had become unsustainable.

-Write to James Glynn at james.glynn@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 29, 2017 21:50 ET (01:50 GMT)