Apartments are hot real estate in Melbourne and rest of state

Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) earlier in the month revealed that the country has hit record high building approvals over the month of November 2014. The Housing Industry Association (HIA) commented on the figures, revealing a significant jump in housing productivity for the nation.

According to an 8 January release by the HIA, the number of approvals in the second last month of the year hit 18,245. All previous record-breaking months have been somewhere in the range of 17,556 and 17,755.

The next best month was August 1994, but January last year also made the top six. Judging by the HIA figures for approvals, 1994, 2002 and 2014 have been the best years on record for potential increases to the housing stock.

Multi-unit real estate in Victoria the star performer

While new dwelling approvals skyrocketed for the month, the real success story was the performance of the unit sector. Victoria recorded the highest number of housing approvals in November, with a 19.7 per cent increase, according to the HIA.

In a 15 January statement, the  strength of the Victorian market was revealed by the HIA to be the multi-unit residential sector. Assessing dwelling commencements for the September quarter, it was noted that while detached housing starts fell by 5.1 per cent, the multi-unit sector jumped up 8.3 per cent.

With an active apartment and multi-unit construction industry and a set of approvals figures that hints at more of the same, Victorian real estate is set to explode in the near future.

"The momentum in multi-unit building continued to gather pace in the September quarter last year, with the latest result representing a fourth consecutive increase," said Gil King, HIA executive director for Victoria.

"If the strong pipeline of approvals flows through to actual construction, then we could expect further strong results in this segment of residential construction."

Melbourne apartments commanding strong price increases

The desire for inner city living in the Victorian capital is still strong, with SQM Research revealing a very positive trend for the city. Unit prices have appreciated by 5.1 per cent over the past three years. Two bedroom units have done particularly well, achieving a seven per cent capital gain.

More importantly, units in Melbourne have consistently commanded higher prices over the last month and even the last week. The same can not be said for houses for sale in the capital city, which have taken a slide over the same period.