Warning sign for governments in housing approval numbers

New housing approval data shows why property is the nation’s largest industry crucial to economic growth – but also contain a warning for political leaders.

New ABS data on building approvals released today show a 10.6 percent growth in annual approvals seasonally adjusted, but also reveal a 7.5 per cent drop in approvals in January.

“We have had a record run during 2015 with housing approvals, but the first data for 2016 contains warning signs”, said the Property Council’s Chief of Policy and Housing Glenn Byres.

“Approvals sit near record levels, with 231,752 approvals in the twelve months to January 2016 and the eastern seaboard states are doing the heavy lifting.

“When approvals convert to construction – we fuel jobs, prosperity and economic growth.

“While record runs never go on for ever, the drop in January is large. These figures are a jolt.

“We need to be careful that it doesn’t signal the start of a sustained easing and that’s why political leaders must avoid a risky intervention in housing markets through changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax.

“While they are yet to play out in the figures, the Opposition’s new property taxes policy and the Government’s deliberations on the same issue are creating uncertainty.”

Media contact:  Glenn Byres  |  E  [email protected]