This article examines long term trends in abandonment rates of new residential dwelling approvals to inform future building activity figures. The composition of abandoned dwellings by type of building, location and length of time in the pipeline are presented.
Data are presented for the following types of dwellings:
- 'Houses' - defined as detached buildings used for long term residential purposes, consisting of only one dwelling unit and are not a result of alterations or additions to a pre-existing building.
- 'Other Residential' - include both semi-detached row or terrace houses (attached in some structural way to one or more dwellings, with their own private grounds and no separate dwelling above or below) and flats, units or apartments (blocks of dwellings that don't have their own private grounds and usually share a common entrance, foyer or stairwell).
- 'Total residential' - the combination of both 'Houses' and 'Other Residential'.
For further information refer to Functional Classification of Buildings, 1999 (Revision 2011) (cat. no. 1268.0.55.001).
Once a new dwelling has been approved (a building approval is defined as the final certification required before building activity can legally commence), it may be considered abandoned before or after construction has commenced, where:
- The owner of the building job reports that the approved work is not going to commence or continue, and the building job has not been sold to another entity; or
- No construction has commenced within the required period and the approval has expired.
The data presented are from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) quarterly publication Building Activity, Australia (June 2019, cat. no. 8752.0) and monthly publication Building Approvals, Australia (August 2019, cat. no. 8731.0). Monthly building approvals data has been lagged by one month to align with the lag between building approval and subsequent selection in the Building Activity survey. Data presented in this article are available in the 'Building Activity: Abandonment rates for new dwellings' data cube on the data downloads section.