What building approval figures mean for the local economy.
What building approval figures mean for the local economy. Jodie Richter

$33m worth of Northern Rivers homes approved in one month

MORE than $33 million worth of homes were approved across the Northern Rivers in August.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show 101 dwellings were approved in the Lismore, Ballina, Byron and Kyogle council areas in August, worth a total of $33.2 million.

In August, 72 houses were approved across the region, significantly higher than the 44 approved in July. While no apartments were approved in Kyogle or Lismore, 17 were approved in Ballina and 12 in Byron.

From January to August this year, 162 houses and apartments have been approved in the four council areas, up on 105 approvals over the same time period in 2017.

So far this year, 46 apartments have been approved with all but two in Ballina and Byron. That compares to 10 over the same period last year.

Paul Bidwell from Master Builders said construction remained a key economic sector in every community.

"Building approvals is a really important indicator of how the local economy is doing,” he said.

"If people are living and working in the area, if industry is doing well, then people are going to be looking at building.”

Mr Bidwell said almost all approved buildings were built, but construction commencement could take years.

"The correlation between approvals and construction is very high, around 99 per cent.

"If a developer is doing their job right, they shouldn't be applying for approvals for buildings that aren't going to get built.” -NewsRegional