Building approvals for Perth homes are on the rise again but still not enough to keep up with WA’s booming population.WA home building approvals have returned to normal levels two months after almost halving but the industry is warning they remain 30 per cent below what is required to house the state’s booming population.

A gap of about 500 dwellings each month was accruing, adding pressure on the rental market and eventually the home building sector, Master Builders Australia WA director Michael McLean said.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data released yesterday showed Perth’s outer fringes recorded the fastest and largest population growth in the decade to June 2011, with some areas growing more rapidly than anywhere else in the country.

At June last year there were 2.35 million people living in WA, a 24 per cent increase in the past decade, compared to the national average of 15 per cent.

Between 2001 and 2011, Greater Perth increased by 380,100 people, or 26 per cent.

However, a separate ABS report also released yesterday shows the number of new homes built in the past year declined 13 per cent, following an 18 per cent fall in 2009-10.

BIS Shrapnel last year forecast that the state would build 3500-6000 fewer homes than what was needed each year between 2011-12 and 2015-16.

Mr McLean said the state needed about 2000 new dwellings each month to accommodate the rapid population growth. The state has averaged about 1500 in the past 12 months.

At the same time, rentals have escalated, while the vacancy rate has fallen below 2 per cent.

“Anything less than [2000 new homes each month] highlights the under-building in terms of new dwellings,” Mr McLean said.

“At the end of the day that tends to catch up with you so that when the tide comes in it can be a bit of a tsunami, overwhelming people who want to get into the market.”

Residential building approvals increased 28 per cent in June, compared to May, which also increased 25 per cent in the month.

However, the figures come off the back of a dramatic 47 per cent decline in April following the introduction of the new Building Act, which led the state government to convene emergency meetings to fix the flawed system.

The number of approvals in June was of a similar level to February and greater than each month between November and January. It remains 11 per cent below March levels.

Housing Industry Association WA director John Dastlik said a significant proportion of the increase in June was in units and apartments after months of lagging behind detached houses.

He expected the total number of approvals to have increased again during July and to continue to climb for the rest of the year.

“We’re not quite back to where we should be … based on finance approvals and sales data coming through,” Mr Dastlik said.

Which suburbs grew fastest?

Perth’s sprawling population saw some outer suburbs grow by four, five and six times their size in 2001, ABS data released yesterday shows.

Ellenbrook in the city’s north-east recorded the largest growth, increasing by 258 per cent to 17,700 people.

Canning Vale attracted the second largest number of new residents, 15,600 or 263 per cent. That was followed by Madeley-Darch-Landsdale (up 15 300 or 323 per cent), Butler-Merriwa-Ridgewood (14,900 or 283 per cent) and Baldivis (13,900 or 412 per cent).

The fastest growth was in Bertram-Wellard, which sextupled its population.

Tapping – Ashby – Sinagra grew by a whopping 572 per cent, followed by  Forrestdale-Harrisdale-Piara Waters (up 478 per cent), Baldivis (412 per cent) and Success-Hammond Park (up 367 per cent).

Outside of Perth, the Pilbara recorded the largest and fastest population increase (23,300 people or 59 per cent).

Bunbury increased 19,000, while Augusta-Margaret River-Busselton was the second fastest growing population (31 per cent).Follow WAtoday on TwitterComment at WAtoday

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