VBA: Building permit bounce back a sign of industry rebound
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Victoria’s building industry had a strong 2020 and recorded the highest level of permit approvals in the past two decades.
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) issues 10% more building permits in 2020, 113,430 up from the 101,998 in 2019. The largest increase in approvals was in regional Victoria, suggesting more people are moving to the regions.
VBA chief executive officer Sue Eddy says the industry was resilient and the building and construction sector would continue to be paramount to economic recovery.
“Last year was unprecedented. This year we all need to continue to adapt and collaborate, even more than we have, to help industry flourish and our economy recover,” she says.
In the first quarter of this financial year, building permits issued with a Building Permit Number were 13% higher than the same period in 2019-20.
Unsurprisingly, mid-year data showed that there had been a drop in permit applications during the lockdown.
Domestic and residential buildings, which make up the majority of all building applications, fell to around 13% and 12% respectively in April, and 10% and 11% respectively in August. Despite this, they rebounded in September and continued to grow for the rest of the year.
Sue adds that the Federal HomeBuilder Grant Scheme and the Victorian government’s $5.3 billion Big Housing Build breathed new life back into the industry.
The HomeBuilder scheme has generated over 25,000 applications from Victoria as of 26 February. The majority being for new builds 20,726 and 4,707 for renovations.
“We expect to see these numbers increase with the extension of the grant to 31 March. The flow-on effect will be felt by many in the industry as the work commences,” Sue says.
“The HomeBuilder scheme and Victoria’s Big Housing Build will supercharge our economic recovery through the pandemic and beyond.
“The stimulus packages reflect the Federal and State Government’s confidence in the building and construction industry helping the economic recovery.
“More than ever, we must all work together to deliver the compliance and safety outcomes that the public not only expects but are entitled to.”