Big home builders shrugging off housing downturn

Adam Smith 22 September 2016

new home building hits new recordHome construction may be slowing, but not for Australia’s biggest builders.

New figures from the Housing Industry Association (HIA) show Australia’s largest volume home builders saw their fourth consecutive increase in new dwelling commencements. The HIA-Colorbond Steel Housing 100 Report showed record new starts for large volume builders, HIA chief economist Harley Dale said.

“The total number of Housing 100 starts was 69,161 in 2015/16, compared to the previous record of 69,100 in 2003/04 and the 10-year high of 68,621 reached in 2014/15,” Dale said.

The report found that Metricon Homes was the largest volume builder for the year, with 4,356 dwelling commencements. BGC Australia followed at 4,049 housing starts.

Dale noted that the results reflected the “changing dynamic” of new home construction in Australia.

“A key focus during this record new home building cycle has been on the changing composition of new dwelling supply, particularly the increased volume and share of medium/high density (MHD) dwellings,” Dale said.

Dale said while the short-term outlook for home building remained healthy, the forecast beyond 2016 “becomes muddier”.

“The broad brush approach to credit restrictions applied by APRA, together with the cash-grab transaction costs levied by some state governments on foreign investors exacerbate the downside risks to new home construction and therefore the broader domestic economy,” he said.

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