The federal government needs to fix what is the worst residential housing building market in decades, a roundtable meeting at Parliament House in Canberra has heard.
The meeting was organised by the Housing Industry Association (HIA), and was addressed by the Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Hon Brendan O’Connor. The HIA said attendees were also briefed by experts in the fields of economics and housing.
According to the HIA, attendees agreed that the housing industry is currently facing the worst conditions in decades, and a lack of action by all levels of government is constraining the ability of Australians to access affordable housing.
In mid July, the HIA forecast an 11.5 per cent decline in dwelling commencements in 2012, to a level of 133,420.
The HIA pointed to a new report, which was presented at the meeting, which it said confirmed the importance of residential building to the Australian economy and the economic value of adequate housing to improving employment.
Key findings of the report, which was undertaken by the Centre for International Economics (CIE) on behalf of HIA, included details of the sector's value to the economy.
“The residential building industry is directly worth $70 billion to the Australian economy and is responsible for putting over 350,000 people into a new home each year,” said HIA managing director, Shane Goodwin.
“This new independent research now quantifies the impact of housing on the economy and concludes that a one per cent increase in productivity in the sector can boost the broader economy by a factor as high as 4.81.”
“Given the burden of red and green tape on the sector, itself a substantial weight on improvements to productivity, there is a large amount of economic gain that can be achieved through modest and targeted action by government.”
“Similarly, for every dollar in taxation removed from housing construction, there is a return of $2.46 to the economy.”