Building activity sinks lower in December

Peter Terlato 12 April 2017

construction workers on-site

Building rates continue to fall in the construction industry.

The value of completed building works in Australia declined through the December 2016 quarter, according to the latest data.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that the total value of work done fell by 0.5% quarter-on-quarter in December to a total of $26,688.9 million.

The value of new residential building works was flat in the December quarter, maintained by a slight increase (0.7%) in the value of other new residential buildings (eg, apartments, townhouses, home units). There was also a significant drop (-1.7%) in the value of non-residential building works.

Figures show the total number of dwelling units commenced fell by 1.5% in the December quarter.

New private sector house commencements were also pushed down (-0.9%) over the quarter, while new private sector other residential building commencements also fell off (-1.7%).

While overall reductions in building activity were more substantial during the September quarter in 2016, these results signal a continuing trend of contraction in Australia's residential construction industry.

Despite rising property prices across Australia's capital cities and the increasing value of home loans, the average home loan balance isn't growing, meaning the risk of mortgage stress hasn't increased.

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