'Unequivocally' weak, as new starts sink lower

by Mackenzie McCarty21 Jun 2012

Forget the 'argy bargy', says the HIA, new dwelling commencements are now 'unequivocally weak'.

Yesterday, the ABS released figures depicting a 12.6% fall in dwelling commencements in the March 2012 quarter. This was 7.7% for detached houses, and 21.1% for 'other dwellings'.

The HIA declared the figure a sign of 'unequivocal weakness' in commencements, after eight consecutive quarters of decline and a number of commencements below GFC lows.

"Recent encouraging moves by some state governments notwithstanding, the continued deterioration in new housing supply is a poor indictment on Australia's policy makers," said HIA chief economist Harley Dale.

Commencements reached an annualised level of over 122,000 according to the HIA.

"Excluding the new home building recession around the GST, this is the lowest level for dwelling commencements since the September quarter of 1996," Dale said.