PropTrack New Homes Report - February 2024

Karen Dellow
Karen Dellow

While new building approvals are on a downward trend, there is a growing demand for new developments, according to the latest data.

Total building approvals fell by 9.5% in December, after a 0.3% November rise, with unit approvals falling by 25%, and houses falling 0.5%.

Approvals have been trending down since their peak in March 2021 and need to increase significantly if the federal, state and territory governments are going to hit their target of facilitating the building of 1.2 million new homes by 2029.

As a result of the lower approvals trend, new commencements have also fallen, by 9.7% for houses and 11.2% for units.


That being said, there is some good news on the new homes front as listings for new apartment and retirement developments on have increased year-on-year.

Total new build listings onsite are currently down by 1%; however, apartment listings are up 7% year-on-year and retirement properties have increased by 43%.

Apartment listings on are up year-on-year. Source: Getty

New house and land listings are down slightly by 4%; although, NSW, TAS, and QLD have seen a strong increase.

There has been a large decrease in house listings in WA, however, and in SA and VIC there has been a smaller decrease in each state.

There has been a significant boost in listings for retirement properties in the past 12 months in NSW, QLD, and VIC, with increases of  77%, 35%, and 27%, respectively.

In Melbourne, an additional 267 (18%) apartment listings are currently onsite, compared to last year. Apartments are also up slightly in QLD and SA.

The majority of apartment development are in high density cities, in particular, inner Melbourne and Sydney.

The Gold Coast has the second highest number of developments at 10%.

The suburbs with the most apartment projects are Southbank (Melbourne), Melbourne CBD, and Surfers Paradise (Gold Coast).

Although, the Sydney suburbs of Macquarie Park and Castle Hill are much further out of the city.

The largest proportion of house and land listings are also in metro areas; however, they are mostly situated in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.

There are also 17 projects in Geelong, an hour from Melbourne, in regional Victoria.

The suburb with the most house and land development listings in January was Box Hill in Sydney - Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury area.

There are currently 11 sites in the suburb, with properties on the market for over $1 million each.

Eight of the top 10 suburbs are in Victoria, with Clyde North (Melbourne - South East), Armstrong Creek (Geelong), and Fraser Rise (Melbourne - West), all with the second highest number of developments.


Engagement with new development listings on was up 15% in January, compared to the same time last year, and retirement listings have seen the largest increase, with a 20% increase year-on-year.

Buyer engagement for house and land listings is up 19% and has seen nine months of positive year-on-year growth.

Engagement with apartment listings have also increased, although only by 1%.

Enquiries for apartments are highest in Inner Melbourne and the Gold Coast, where listings are also at their highest and all the top 10 regions for enquiries are inner city areas.

House and land developments in Logan - Beaudesert, Brisbane, had the most buyer enquiries in January, followed by Perth - North West, and Sydney - Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury.

An apartment development in Urangan, Hervey Bay, was the most in-demand project in January, with double the enquiries of the second on the list.

Artist's impression of Topaz Shelly Beach, Hervey Bay. Source:

Apartments in Topaz Shelly Beach start at $599,000 and go up to $1.5 million and overlook the ocean.

Three of the top 10 most enquired about house and land developments in January were in Logan - Beaudesert; however, the most in-demand development was SkyRidge in Worongary, on the Gold Coast.

Future retail village in SkyRidge, Worongary. Source:

Looking ahead

The biggest challenge for the housing market in the coming year is how quickly stock levels can be increased to provide additional housing for the growing population.

Rental properties are also needed, in large quantities, to meet the needs of overseas migrants and students; however, investors are still not returning to the market in the numbers needed to meet the demand.

However, with existing stock in short supply, buyers may be looking at new builds as an alternative, and an increase in demand may spearhead an increase in new approvals.

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