The government’s stimulus packages are finally starting to be felt in the construction sector, with the establishment of residential buildings surging ahead in the December 2009 quarter.
The Housing Industry Association’s chief economist Dr Harley Dale said the strong recovery in housing starts highlights the success of targeting policy towards new home building.
"The social housing initiative is clearly supporting growth in other residential building, which is recovering from an awfully low base,” Dr Dale said.
“There will be a healthy recovery in housing starts in the 2009/10 financial year, but today’s result does nothing to answer the question of whether that recovery can be sustained once the impact from fiscal and monetary policy stimulus comes to an end.”
“The prospect for a second stage to the recovery is threatened by underlying supply side issues, including a widespread lack of available finance and re-emerging land and labour shortages. The positive impact from stimulus measures is masking the constraining impact these supply side obstacles are having on the residential construction sector.”
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released today, housing starts increased by 15.1 per cent in the December 2009 quarter to an annualised level of over 160,000, following an upwardly revised 11 per cent rise in the September quarter.
Detached house starts increased by 14 per cent in the December 2009 quarter following a 10 per cent lift in the September quarter. Other residential building starts increased by 18 per cent at the end of last year following a rise of 14 per cent in the September 2009 quarter.