Residential building declining
Home building has contracted for the fifth consecutive month.
The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Australian Performance of Construction Index saw contracting conditions in the construction industry for the third straight month in December. The index remained relatively unchanged from the previous month at 47.0 points. Readings below 50 indicate a contraction in activity.
Construction on housing, apartments, commercial property and engineering work contracted. While apartment building and engineering work were up slightly on the previous month, the sub-sectors remained in contraction.
“While levels of apartment building remain well above average, the furious pace of a year ago clearly eased through 2016,” Ai Group head of policy Peter Burn said.
HIA senior economist Shane Garrett said that while house and apartment building activity contracted, the pace of decline for apartment building had slowed.
“During 2017, we expect new dwelling starts to decline although the carry over from homes commenced last year means that activity on the ground will remain elevated for much of the year ahead,” Garrett said.