Industry still confident despite fall in building approvals

THERE was a 5% fall in building approvals last month, but the housing industry remains confident despite the figures.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics approvals data, released on Wednesday, showed approvals activity was still 20% above this time last year.

Housing Industry Association senior economist Shane Garrett said despite the February fall, "the overall picture is one of strength".

"Typically, approvals can take about six months to translate into activity on the ground," he said.

"A continuing strong volume of new supply will flow through to help alleviate dwelling prices for the existing stock."

The major falls in building approvals last month were felt in Queensland, down 15.6%, and South Australia, down 14.8%.

However, approvals rose slightly in Victoria, up 1.9%, West Australia, up 4.6%, and Tasmania, up 0.9%.