New home building hits new record
New home building hit a record in 2015 but is likely to have peaked.
Last year was the strongest ever for new home building activity in Australia, the Housing Industry Association has said. The HIA said final results from the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirm that 2015 saw a record number of new dwellings start construction.
HIA senior economist Shane Garrett said more than 220,000 homes started construction in 2015, up 11% on the prior year.
“It is impossible to overstate the importance of new home building in supporting economic activity over the past few years,” Garrett said. “The mining slump left a big hole in economic growth, which residential building has partly alleviated, providing much needed employment in construction. Australia’s housing stock has been augmented significantly by the high levels of new home building. This will benefit our economic capacity and living standards for decades to come.”
While 2015 was the strongest year on record for new home starts, Garrett said this year was likely to see fewer new homes built.
“Under current policy settings, new home building is then projected to fall below the levels required to provide for Australia’s long term housing needs,” he said.
Garrett argued for an overhaul of taxation on new home building and a removal to delays in the planning and land release process.
“In the absence of serious housing policy reform, there is a real risk that we will fall behind in the race for better living standards,” he said.
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