Housing and other residential building commencements

Construction of dwellings—houses and other residential buildings, including units, apartments, townhouses and house conversions—is a major market for wood products and an important driver of economic growth in the forestry sector.

Wood products commonly used in construction include softwood sawn timber for wall framing and roof trusses (structural products), and hardwood sawn timber and panels for flooring and joinery (finished products). Construction of houses generally requires a higher volume of wood products than construction of other residential buildings.

Following a decrease in total dwellings commenced in Australia in 2016–17, the total number of dwelling commencements increased by 3.1 per cent in 2017–18, from 221,400 to 228,200 in 2017–18 (Figure 3). This growth was driven by a 4.4 per cent increase in the number of house commencements, from 115,500 to 120,600. The number of new other residential buildings also increased, by 1.7 per cent from 105,900 to 107,700.

Figure 3 Dwelling commencements, 2007–08 to 2017–18
Shows historic trends in the number of housing, other residential buildings and total dwelling commencements in Australia from 2007−08 to 2017−18. All three measures initially fluctuated annually from 2007−08 and then increased beginning in 2012−13. All three measures decreased in 2016−17 and then increased in 2017−18.
Last reviewed:
20 Nov 2018