Dwelling starts have taken a tumble in the December quarter, a result the housing industry said should instill a sense of urgency for government reform.
Housing starts fell by 6.9% over the quarter, new ABS figures have revealed. The result puts dwelling starts down 12.8% year-on-year. HIA senior economist Andrew Harvey said the result should jolt the government into action.
"Private sector detached housing starts have now fallen for eight consecutive quarters and combined with other housing indicators highlights the urgency with which the Commonwealth Government needs to reform housing supply. The glacial pace of policy reform in terms of reducing the high cost of new housing is unsustainable and is causing unnecessary social and economic costs," Harvey said.
Harvey took aim at the government commitment to a budget surplus, and argued that this should be put on the back burner in favour of reform to aid housing supply.
"Rather than focussing on a short-term budget surplus outcome the Commonwealth Government would be better-placed looking at how it can reform housing supply in order to lift home building levels, boost economic activity, and secure important productivity benefits," he said.
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