Australia’s appetite for townhouses and apartments hit a 7.5-year high just before Omicron pushed the construction industry back again.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics results showed approvals for apartments jumped 27.5 per cent in December while houses levelled off, retreating -1.8 per cent for December.
New South Wales led the property market for apartment approvals, up 32.1 per cent, while Victoria was up 2.5 per cent, bringing the national average to 8.2 per cent.
This was despite the other states performing poorly, including Queensland apartment approvals at -14.8 per cent, WA at -7.7 per cent, Tasmania -7.4 per cent and SA at -0.3 per cent.
Commsec senior economist Ryan Felsman said townhouses of one storey or more, made up a 20.2 per cent share of total annual building approvals.
“While Aussies have exhibited a strong preference for larger detached houses with backyards during the pandemic, demand for townhouses remains buoyant, reflecting an ageing population,” Felsman said.
“Demand for apartments and townhouses could lift later in 2022 as the international borders reopen with students and workers returning to inner cities.”
Dwelling approvals before Omicron