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Housing starts drop in June quarter

16 September 2009 Reporter

In a sign that Australia’s recovery may take longer than first predicted, housing starts fell 3.7 per cent in the June quarter.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed total housing starts had fallen to 130,642 for the financial year – 17.7 per cent lower than the weak 2008/09 financial year.

Detached house starts were the only area to record positive growth, rising by 4.2 per cent to 22,808 in the June quarter.

Multi-unit starts dropped 21.5 per cent.

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The Housing Industry Association’s senior economist Ben Phillips said the results demonstrated the difficulties faced by developers in the units and semi-detached segment.

“A lack of availability and tough restrictions on credit means developers face the toughest economic conditions since the early 1990s,” Mr Phillips said.

The number of housing starts in the June 2009 quarter fell by 3.7 per cent in Victoria, 10.4 per cent in Queensland, 9.6 per cent in South Australia, and 6.3 per cent in Western Australia.

Housing starts increased by 2.1 per cent in New South Wales, 8.9 per cent in Tasmania, 17.6 per cent in the Australian Capital Territory, and 64.9 per cent in the Northern.

Housing starts drop in June quarter
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