New home building a mixed bag for December quarter

by AB18 Apr 2013

New home building took a hit in the December, 2012 quarter, with new ABS data showing a 2.3% decline following an upwardly revised September quarter.

Housing Industry Association economist, Geordan Murray, says says it's not all bad news following the revisions to the September quarter figures, which added around 2,600 homes to the quarterly total.

“This implies there was a 7.4% increase in activity during the September 2012 quarter rather than the 2% reported previously. Off this upwardly revised base, the December quarter posted a decline of 2.3% in aggregate dwelling commencements. There was a decline in the number of multi-unit dwelling commencements of 4.7%, while the count of detached dwelling commencements was consistent with the previous quarter,” says Murray.

“On the basis of these revisions and an okay showing in the December quarter, the second half of 2012 can be characterised as a reasonable, rather than poor, performing period for housing starts. In a signal of the challenge ahead to restore new housing to healthy levels, housing starts were still at a recessionary level in four states in 2012.”

Murray says there are signs that NSW and WA are on a path to recovery and the strong December quarter result for the recessed SA market is ‘encouraging’.

“In contrast, the signals for the remaining states and territories are weak.”