Australia's population growth means there is still a strong underlying demand for housing, an industry group has claimed.
The Housing Industry Association has pointed to ABS figures that show Australia's population grew above the long term average in 2013.
"The figures show Australia's population reached 23.13 million in mid-2013, having added over 407,000 people in the year to June 2013. This is equivalent to a growth rate of 1.8 per cent over the year which is well above the long term average," said Geordan Murray, HIA Economist.
Natural population increase was 2.6% higher than the previous year, while net overseas migration increased by 8.6%.
"With our population ageing and the baby-boomer generation progressively moving into retirement, Australia's workforce must continually be replenished. Healthy levels of skilled migration, such as we are currently observing, will become increasingly important if we are to see the productivity improvements that will deliver sustainable advances in living standards," Murray said.
Murray said overseas migration was expected to continue to drive population growth, with ABS projections anticipating net overseas migration of 240,000 a year. Murray claimed housing was not keeping pace with growth.
"The latest data shows Australia's population has continued to grow at an above average pace and official projections show this is expected to continue. To date there has not been any commensurate boost to the supply of new housing. It is time for policy makers to acknowledge the imminent policy challenge that this situation poses," Murray said.