Australian housing approval plummeted by more than a quarter during the Omicron outbreak

Homebuilding approval across Australia plummeted in January 2022 due to high levels of absenteeism caused by the adverse effects of the COVID-19 Omicron variant and slow management processes.

More specifically, the number of approvals dropped sharply in January, both in the private sector housing and in the more volatile “other housing” category.

according to Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics The total number of approved homes in January released on March 3 was 12,916, a decrease of 27.9% compared to December last year.

Private home approval was down 17.5% to 8,712, while other homes were down 43.6% to 4,007.

Victoria seems to be the most affected state, with the number of approved private homes down 18.6% and other forms of homes down 35.5%.

Housing Industry Association Economist Tom David said The decline in approvals was due to a shortage of staff at the time of the Omicron outbreak and an above average number of vacation vacations taken.

“The lack of council workers, private certifiers, and construction staff will emphasize the ability to handle approvals,” he said.

“Despite the temporary disruption caused by the January outbreak of Omicron, there are no signs that homebuilding activity is soon facing weak demand.”

Devitt also expected the construction sector to witness above-average approvals in the coming months as the effects of this turmoil receded.

Epoch Times Photo
The construction site of Marsden Park is believed to have been closed on July 19, 2021 in Sydney, Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Mark Evans / Getty Images)

Meanwhile, construction activity began to improve in February after the outbreak of the Omicron subspecies peaked.

Australian Industry Group / Housing Industry Association Construction index performance It increased by 7.5 points to 53.4 that month. A score above 50 means increased construction activity.

Peterburn, chief policy adviser for the Australian Industrial Group, employers’ organization, said the construction industry has been steadily improving new orders. In addition, despite continued supply chain difficulties for months, the slowdown in supplier deliveries has diminished.

Meanwhile, the Australian economy showed stronger signs of recovery from last year’s blockade of the Delta variant in early 2022 as the export sector thrived and the construction industry began to grow again.

“Omicron hasn’t upset our economy,” Finance Minister Josh Frydenberg told ABC Radio on March 3.

Frydenberg said consumer spending in the first two months of 2022 was 4 percent higher than last year as problems related to labor absenteeism subsided.

“We found that business conditions improved, business confidence was restored, and job ads were still over 30% higher than they were at the start of the pandemic,” he said.

The The latest national accounts The Australian economy showed a 46-year high growth of 3.4% in the December quarter, following a 1.9% contraction in the September 2021 quarter due to the blockade of Delta shares.

Alfred buoy


Alfred Bui is a Melbourne-based Australian reporter with a focus on local and business news. He is a former small business owner and holds two master’s degrees in business and business law. Contact him at [email protected]