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 an increase in total dwellings commenced in Australia in 2017–18, the total number of dwelling commencements decreased by 14.3% in 2018–19, from 230,200 to 197,200 (Figure 3). This decrease was driven by a 21.4% decline in the number of new other residential buildings, from 108,700 to 85,500 in 2018–19. The number of new house commencements also decreased, by 8.0% from 121,500 to 111,800.

Figure 3 Dwelling commencements, 2008–09 to 2018–19
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: 21 November 2019
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