Housing sector remains weak

Steven Cross

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released yesterday confirmed a very weak quarter for new housing to December 2011.

New residential building work fell by 1.7 per cent in the December 2011 quarter to be down by 7.7 per cent when compared to the year before.

Meanwhile, the value of major alterations and additions work done, which accounts for around 20 per cent of total renovations activity, fell by 2.1 per cent over the quarter.

The overall value of work done in total over the 2011 calendar year was down by almost 10 per cent.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) chief economist Harley Dale said that things are just getting worse for both new housing and major alterations and additions activity.

“In the December 2011 quarter, seasonally adjusted residential building work done fell for a third consecutive period, declining by 1.8 per cent to an annualised level of $44.5 billion.

“The situation is very clear – interest rates are too high, the short term focus on a return to budget surplus mistimed, and housing policy reform too slow,” said Harley Dale. “If Australia’s current policy mix was a cake mix, nobody would be eating the final product.”

Steven Cross

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released yesterday confirmed a very weak quarter for new housing to December 2011.

New residential building work fell by 1.7 per cent in the December 2011 quarter to be down by 7.7 per cent when compared to the year before.

Meanwhile, the value of major alterations and additions work done, which accounts for around 20 per cent of total renovations activity, fell by 2.1 per cent over the quarter.

The overall value of work done in total over the 2011 calendar year was down by almost 10 per cent.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) chief economist Harley Dale said that things are just getting worse for both new housing and major alterations and additions activity.

“In the December 2011 quarter, seasonally adjusted residential building work done fell for a third consecutive period, declining by 1.8 per cent to an annualised level of $44.5 billion.

“The situation is very clear – interest rates are too high, the short term focus on a return to budget surplus mistimed, and housing policy reform too slow,” said Harley Dale. “If Australia’s current policy mix was a cake mix, nobody would be eating the final product.”

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