Fall in building approvals a wake-up call

The worst housing approvals numbers in two years should serve as a wake-up call to governments on the need to fix housing markets and planning systems, according to the Property Council.

The Property Council's Chief of Policy and Housing Glenn Byres said new ABS data showed a drop of 12.6 percent in seasonal terms in October – the fourth consecutive monthly fall.

“The lowest housing approvals for two years are a bad sign for affordability, supply pipelines and economic activity," said Mr Byres.

"We’ve seen a 22.5 percent drop in approvals since July, and with 16,279 approvals nationally in the last month, this is the worst result since September 2014.

"Policy makers need to get serious about reforms to fix housing markets and planning systems that are stalling the supply needed to keep pace with a growing population.

“Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has put sensible reforms on the table by proposing a competition payments-style system to encourage state and local governments to lift their game.

“The states seem to be baulking, but instead of throwing their toys out of the cot, should seize the opportunity to get on the job of removing barriers that add to the time, cost and red tape facing projects.

“The meeting of federal, state and territory treasurers this Friday should serve as a chance to end the blame game and lay out a pathway to meaningful change that will benefit homebuyers.”

Media contact:  Glenn Byres |  E gbyres@propertycouncil.com.au