New home building may have already hit its peak, warns economist

by Julia Corderoy27 Nov 2014
Preliminary ABS figures provide further evidence that the new home building upturn may have peaked earlier in 2014, according to the Housing Industry Association.

During the September 2014 quarter, a total of $13.4 billion worth of work was done in the residential construction sector. This represented a 1.6% reduction on the previous quarter, although it was 8.6% higher than a year earlier.

Total work done on new dwelling construction declined by 1.8% during the quarter, but was still some 9.5% higher than the same period of the previous year. Renovations work done was unchanged during the September 2014 quarter and was 2.8% higher than a year earlier.

“These figures provide further evidence that the upturn in new home building activity may have peaked during 2014,” commented HIA Senior Economist, Shane Garrett.

“Australia needs to build about 180,000 homes per year over the longer term to meet its requirements. We have only recently reached this threshold, and the fact that we are moving below it again bodes poorly for the country’s housing prospects.”

The consequences of not meeting these building targets could mean we are in danger of falling behind in the quest to provide enough housing for future generations of Australians, says Garrett.