New building approval statistics for the Tamworth area show growth is still possible during drought.
A total of 19 dwellings were approved in the Tamworth local government area (LGA) in December 2019, according to the data released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
This included 11 new houses and eight new 'other residential' buildings.
In that month, building values totalled $10.57 million, with residential buildings making up around $7.8 million while non-residential buildings were valued at $2.75 million.
These numbers almost mirror the statistics from November 2019, where 12 houses and seven 'other residential' dwellings were approved.
Although these numbers are lower than what would normally be expected, they demonstrate the resilience of Tamworth even in trying times, Tamworth mayor Col Murray said.
"Our economy is diverse enough to maintain growth and development," he said.
"I hope with the glimmer of hope from the rain, things might spark up a bit."
Council's general manager Paul Bennett said staff had approved 490 development applications (DA's) with a median processing time of 38 days over the course of 2019, in a video posted to Facebook.
Tamworth is well ahead of surrounding areas in terms of DA's approved.
The ABS data shows that for the period of December 2019, the Gunnedah region had two new dwellings approved.
In the same month, the Armidale LGA had four dwellings approved - a jump from only two in November.
Meanwhile, the Upper Hunter Shire had a drop in total approvals, with four in November and only one in December 2019.