Hunter a hive of building activity

STRENGTH: HIA's Craig Jennion said the data was good news for the region.

STRENGTH: HIA's Craig Jennion said the data was good news for the region.

WHILE there are indications building activity has peaked nationally, the Hunter seems to be bucking the trend, with the number of new home approvals across the region rising, according to the latest ABS figures.

Newcastle and Port Stephens recorded reductions in building activity of 10 per cent and 18 per cent respectively over the year to August 2017, compared with the year earlier, the data showed. But for the region overall, the news was positive.

“Over the 12 months to August, 2017, a total of 4059 approvals have been issued for new dwellings across the Hunter, compared to a comparable 3999 for the year to August 2016,” Craig Jennion, Housing Industry Association (HIA) Hunter executive director, said.

He said while big reductions in other areas reinforced a concern the market had peaked nationally, an increase of 2 per cent indicates this is “not the case locally”.

The largest increase in new dwelling approvals was in Singleton, up 72 per cent, then Dungog, 56 per cent and Cessnock, 26 per cent.