Apartments in style as housing starts drive economy

Today’s ABS Building Activity data has seen the numbers reach new highs, even if the past quarter has shown that growth to be moderating.

The ABS Building Activity data revealed that housing commencements recorded 55,532 starts, which is up 0.5 per cent on the previous quarter, but almost 11 per cent higher over the year with 215,329 commencements.

Multi-unit residential commencements also nudged higher, to make up 46.9 per cent of the total starts for the year.

“With most industry economic indicators heading towards a trough, the Australian residential industry is shining.  The industry is tracking at its highest ever levels – we are tracking at 50,000 additional homes a year above the 10 year national average” said Executive Director Residential, Nick Proud.

“With up to 40 trades and sub-trades employed on each home, these figures point to a lot of jobs that are out there in our cities and small communities. This also means more house keys are being handed over, which helps improve affordability.

“Multi-units completions, including apartments, are being completed in greater volume and will see plenty of new units and apartments available over the coming 6 months. This is expected to provide greater options for those looking to buy and rent.

“The commencements have definitely hit a peak, however the completions should sit at these levels for at least another quarter or two as the pipeline of homes gets built”, Mr Proud said.

“Over the past year, Queensland (12.9%), Victoria (16.3%), New South Wales (17.5%) and Tasmania (37.3%) have all increased commencements over the past year, whilst WA (-3.5%), SA (-4.0%) and NT (-20.1%) saw a fall in commencements.

“The indication from the ABS statistics all point to a peak, with all states outside of Tasmania and the NT seeing a relatively low increase or fall to record a 0.1 per cent increase in commencements for the September quarter.

“With most industry economic indicators having stopped doing the heavy lifting some time ago, residential housing activity is driving the economy. This is welcome news for jobs.  We are confident that it will remain there for some time.