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ACT sees rise in dwelling approvals

By Ben Faulks

There was a mixed picture for dwelling approvals across the nation in May, but the figures suggest that the ACT was one of the standout performers.

Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) pointed to a 0.1 per cent fall in approvals from April levels, bringing to an end 11 months of consecutive rises. However, it was quite a different picture in the ACT, as approvals were up 6 per cent.

This made it the second-largest increase in the country, ranking behind the Northern Territory, which witnessed a 9.7 per cent rise.

In light of these figures, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) now believes it is necessary to make sure that the building boom is as evenly distributed throughout the nation as possible. HIA senior economist Shane Garrett emphasised that construction is one of the key sectors supporting the economy at the moment, so it needs to be given whatever help is needed.

"While it is positive to see improved levels of approvals, the distribution of growth was uneven with multi-units increasing significantly during the month and detached house approvals falling back," said Mr Garrett.

Policymakers have been called upon to introduce whatever strategies necessary to speed up the planning system. This will ensure that construction is able to thrive, rather than being stifled at a time when increased activity is necessary for economic success.

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