ACT tops HIA’s housing scorecard

The state's market has benefitted from steady population growth and stable labour market

ACT tops HIA’s housing scorecard



The Australian Capital Territory has overtaken all other states and territories as the top-performing housing market, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

The ACT topped the HIA Housing Scorecard report, which ranks each of the state and territories based on residential building indicators including building activity, renovation, housing finance, and overseas migration. This is the first time since 2014 that the state outpaced every other jurisdiction.

Tom Devitt, economist at HIA, said the ACT's strongest assets were its steady population growth and a stable labour market.

"This has supported strong demand for new homes and renovation activity, which has been boosted by the HomeBuilder program. Activity in the first home buyer sector has also grown strongly," he said.

Tasmania came in second in the rankings, driven by the momentum of its economy leading into the COVID-19 recession.

"Ongoing state government support for home building, including social housing projects, will provide support for the state’s labour market," Devitt said.

Following Tasmania was Queensland, which continues to be the strongest state for renovations. Its southeastern region has continued to attract interstate migration from Sydney and Melbourne which helped to partially offset the loss of overseas migration.

Victoria, a state that dominated the top two places in the scorecard from late 2015 to mid-2020, has fallen to the sixth spot, reporting declines across building indicators.

New South Wales also fell to its lowest rank since 2012, coming in fifth. The only area it ranked highly in was multi-unit starts.

Devitt said the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak significantly “reshuffled” this year’s rankings.

"The relative strength of residential building activity across the states and territories will be heavily influenced by the take-up of HomeBuilder and other stimulus measures in 2021,” he added.

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