Healthy 2019 Residential Construction Outlook

HIA Industry Update for NHS
Approx read time: 2 minutes

Latest ABS figures on new home building approvals indicate that activity across the Hunter continued to perform strongly in 2018 the Housing Industry Association is pleased to report.

In total 4,928 approvals were issued for new dwellings across the Hunter, compared to 4,795 in 2017, an increase of 3 per cent on already elevated levels.

Much of the heavy lifting for the residential sector continues to occur in the Lower Hunter, with the local government areas of Lake Macquarie, Newcastle and Maitland continuing to be the top 3 locations for approvals, accounting for over 76 per cent of total approvals.

Pleasingly, it continues that that the largest percentage increases in total dwelling approvals occurred in regional locations. Singleton was the strongest, up 41%, followed by Cessnock, up 25%, and Muswellbrook, up 9%. Cessnock also took out the title of ‘biggest mover’ increasing their housing approvals by 129 dwellings over 2017.

The performance of new home building approvals across detached new homes and multi-unit approvals both increased in 2018. Accounting for 60 per cent of all approvals detached house approvals increased by 3 per cent compared to the 2017 calendar year, while multi-unit approvals, increased by 2 per cent over the same period.

These results point to very healthy levels of activity for the residential construction sector in early 2019. The approvals also reinforce the affordability advantages that the region has over other locations in NSW, particularly Sydney where housing remains far from affordable for average households.

Total Dwellings 12 mths to: Dec-17 12 mths to: Dec-18 % change
Cessnock 521 650 25%
Lake Macquarie 1,410 1,470 4%
Maitland 853 917 8%
Newcastle 1,442 1,371 -5%
Port Stephens 311 296 -5%
Dungog 64 40 -38%
Singleton 64 90 41%
Muswellbrook 11 12 9%
Scone 24 22 -8%
Mid Coast 95 60 -37%
4,795 4,928 3%

Economic data such as the above and advice is available to HIA members and non-members from the HIA Economics team.  This information and advice is provided so our industry has the knowledge it needs to make critical decisions. For details visit

You’re invited to the HIA Hunter Industry Outlook Breakfast 7.5.19

For those looking for the latest economic forecasts and trends join us at the Hunter Industry Outlook Breakfast on the 7 May where Tim Reardon, HIA Chief Economist will explore housing conditions in the Hunter in 2019 and beyond. The insights provided by HIA Economics will help you and your business navigate the next phase of the residential building cycle. For details click here

Craig Jennion
HIA Executive Director – Hunter