Master Builders Australia - Upswing In Dwelling Starts 1

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17th March 2010, 03:08pm - Views: 579





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Media Release



17 March 2010


Upswing in Dwelling Starts

Statement by Mr Peter Jones, Chief Economist

National dwelling commencements rose strongly in the December quarter as the effect

of low interest rates and government stimulus measures begins to flow through into the

pipeline of work,

according to Master Builders Australia, the peak building and

construction industry association.

Mr Peter Jones, Master Builders’

Chief Economist said, “Residential building is finally

moving into an upturn phase after five years of chronic underbuilding made worse in

recent times by the global financial crisis and economic downturn.” 

“The

predicted bounceback in housing commencements

this year will offset a

ratchet

down in activity that occurred in the wake of the global financial crisis.”

“Beyond that, there are questions over the sustainability of the upturn.”

He said, “Tight lending requirements enforced by the banks are

affecting investor-

driven unit and apartment builders, as is

the fall back associated with the end of the

First Home Owner ‘boost’ scheme and speculation about higher interest rates.”  

“Master Builders believes the Reserve Bank needs to keep interest rates low to ensure

recovery in the interest-rate-sensitive residential building sector becomes entrenched.”

“Australia

needs a long and strong housing upturn if it is to overcome the massive

shortfall in dwellings that has developed.”

“Governments need to address supply-constraining factors such as developer charges,

otherwise the upswing in residential building will fall well short of what’s needed.”

“What’s needed is three or four years building 200,000 plus dwellings

per annum to

firstly meet ongoing demand from a growing population and to also make inroads into

the massive deficit of housing that has already accrued through underbuilding.”


The total number of dwelling units commenced in the December quarter 2009,

seasonally adjusted, rose by 15.1 per cent to 40,022 to be up by 26 per cent on

the global financial crisis affected December quarter 2008. 


The number of private new houses commenced rose

by 13.4

per cent to

28,343, up 28.3 per cent from the corresponding quarter a year ago.


Commencements of other dwellings, the category that includes apartments,

rose by 18.9 per cent in the December quarter to be up 7.2 per cent through the

year.


For further information contact:

Peter Jones, Chief Economist, Mobile: 0403 440 838






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