WA, NSW drive new home building recovery

by 17 Jan 2014
The latest ABS housing data shows the strongest growth in new home buildling in almost a decade.

HIA chief economist Harley Dale says the figures point to an ongoing new home buildling recovery.

“There was a 2.0 per cent decline in the September 2013 quarter, but over the twelve months to September there were 163,250 homes commenced,” said Dale. “Looking past the spike in activity due to the GFC-related stimulus, that is the strongest level recorded since 2004."

“The overall recovery in new dwelling commencements since the trough in March 2012 is still being driven by New South Wales and Western Australia, although Queensland is showing clear signs of improvement,” he said. “The recovery is also being driven primarily by other dwellings (multi-units) rather than detached housing. Both segments are growing, but annual commencements for detached houses are 9 per cent below their 20 year average while commencements of multi-units are running 35 per cent above their 20 year average.”

“This compositional change has an influence on the extent of the boost that domestic manufacturers and retailers will experience from the new home building recovery.

"Overall, the upward trajectory in new dwelling commencements is still clearly a positive factor for the broader domestic economy.”

In the September 2013 quarter detached house commencements lifted by 1.3 per cent while multi-unit commencements fell by 6.6 per cent. Accounting for the June quarter base, healthy gains in total commencements were evident in New South Wales (up 8.6 per cent) and Western Australia (up 4.0 per cent). The September quarter also saw growth for South Australia (up 2.4 per cent), the Northern Territory (up 1.9 per cent), and Queensland (up 0.2 per cent). Quarterly declines were recorded in Victoria (down by 8.5 per cent), Tasmania (down by 5.4 per cent), and the Australian Capital Territory (down by 32.7 per cent).

In terms of the value of work done, today’s release revealed an increase of 1.3 per cent in new residential work done in the September 2013 quarter. The value of larger alterations and additions posted a disappointing result, declining by 3.3 per cent in the September 2013 quarter.