In the December 2016 quarter, 28,102 new houses were completed compared with 28,527 new units.
"This marked the first quarter on record where more new units had been completed than new houses," said Cameron Kusher, head of research at CoreLogic.
In terms of dwelling commencements, 28,690 new houses commenced construction during the quarter, compared with 27,887 new units.
The number of new dwellings approved for construction recently fell from historical highs, according to ABS data, but during the December 2016, both dwelling commencements and completions were actually higher.
Dwelling commencements rose by 0.3 per cent in the December quarter.
“While the strong level of activity at a national level continues to paint a rosy picture for the state of play in the sector, the disparities between states continue to play out," said HIA Economist, Geordan Murray.
Dwelling commencement during the December quarter were as follows
- in NSW (down by 0.2 per cent)
- Victoria (up by 7.6 per cent)
- Queensland (down by 19.3 per cent)
- South Australia (up by 2.8 per cent)
- Western Australia (down by 8.0 per cent)
- Tasmania (down by 5.3 per cent)
- Northern Territory (up by 41 per cent)
- and the ACT (up 142.5 per cent).
And for the year to December, dwelling starts were higher than the decade average in all the states and territories except the Northern Territory (down 24.8 per cent), Tasmania (down 19.1 per cent), and Western Australia (down 10.7 per cent).
Starts were at record highs in NSW (75,882) and 88 per cent above the decade average. In Queensland starts fell from 21 year highs to 48,031 but were still 30 per cent above decade averages.
“New dwelling starts hit an all-time high in the March quarter of 2016, eased back from the peak during the middle part of the year and then improved slightly in the December quarter," said Murray.
More on housing starts and completions:
Building approvals rose strongly in November
Building approvals data confirms softening housing market
Large states see big falls in building approvals