Posted on 30. Jul, 2010 in Victoria

Victoria’s building industry has continued to grow strongly despite the Global Financial Crisis with 113,670 building permits worth a combined $23.9 billion issued in the past financial year – the highest ever on record.

Releasing the Building Commission’s pulse data on Victorian building permit activity for the 2009/10 financial year, Planning Minister Justin Madden said the results showed strong growth in domestic, industrial, healthcare and public building permits year on year.

“These results – achieved during a period of major international economic uncertainty – are outstanding,” Mr Madden said.

“Compared to 2008/09, the number of building permits issued statewide has increased by 16 per cent and the monetary value of these permits has increased 24 per cent.

“This is the best year ever for our building industry and is 17 per cent higher than the previous record in 2007/08.”

Mr Madden said the Commonwealth Government’s stimulus focusing on education, hospitals and healthcare had driven growth of 149 per cent in building permits for public buildings and 52.5 per cent for Hospital/healthcare categories.

Grants for first home buyers had been important in boosting building permits for domestic building which reached $13.1 billion, a 30 per cent increase on the 2008-09 financial year.

“This shows the success of the stimulus packages and the importance of our assistance packages for first home buyers,” Mr Madden said.

“The stimulus programs were designed to assist the building industry maintain momentum through what was anticipated to be a very difficult period, so to have achieved record levels of building permit activity is a very positive outcome.”

By building use, building permit figures for the 2009-10 financial year compared with the 2008/09 financial year show:

  • Domestic (housing) rose 30 per cent to $13,095 million;
  • Residential (including high rise) increased by 1 per cent to $1,981 million;
  • Commercial decreased by 24 per cent to $2,611 million;
  • Retail fell 20 per cent to $1,096 million;
  • Industrial increased by 28 per cent to $411 million;
  • Hospital/healthcare surged 53 per cent to $778 million; and
  • Public buildings leapt 149 per cent to $3,962 million.


Treasurer John Lenders said the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that Victoria had recorded the highest number of dwelling approvals of all the states for the 25th month in a row.

“Victoria has the most generous first home owner payments in Australia, a better record of land release than other states and we are creating more jobs – all of which help Victorians buy their own homes sooner,” Mr Lenders said.

“The Brumby Labor Government’s strong leadership is keeping our economy heading in the right direction and Victoria is creating more jobs than any other state.”

Mr Madden said regional Victoria had also recorded outstanding growth, surpassing $5.79 billion for the first time (a 56 per cent increase) and a 17 per cent increase in the number of permits to 37,827.

Gippsland and North Central regions joined South West to exceed $1 billion for the first time.  

By region, building permits by value for the 2009-10 financial year compared with the 2008-09 financial year show:

  • Inner Melbourne increased by 3 per cent to $8,893 million;
  • Outer Melbourne rose 39 per cent to $9,248 million;
  • South West increased by 36 per cent to $1,666 million;
  • North West leapt 53 per cent to $971 million;
  • North Central surged 43 per cent to $1,080 million;
  • North East jumped 65 per cent to $958 million; and
  • Gippsland climbed 43 per cent to $1,118 million.


“This economic activity is particularly important in rural Victoria, which has not only been battling the economic downturn but the impact of the prolonged drought,” he said.

The Building Commissioner, Tony Arnel, said that another remarkable fact in the 2009-10 financial year building permit activity was that in eight of the 12 months the value of building permits issued exceeded $2 billion.

“These strong levels of activity were spread right across the financial year, including the last two months of May and June 2010,” Mr Arnel said.

“This provides a solid base moving into the new financial year and, importantly, means there is a pipeline of new construction work for Victoria’s building practitioners.”

The Building Commission collects Victorian building information monthly from building surveyors who provide details of building permits they issue. This media release is based on a summary of this information.

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