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eTradesman.com.au - Australia's Online Tradesman Directory

Tradesman NEWS - Housing Approvals Remain in Doldrums

Dwelling approvals fell marginally in June and high interest rates look set to dampen confidence and delay recovery, according to Master Builders Australia, the peak body for the building and construction industry. Mr Peter Jones, Chief Economist, said “Tighter financial conditions are affecting buyer behaviour and suppressing activity in the residential building market. “Housing will continue to face strong headwinds as the lagged effect of high interest rates and declining consumer confidence flow through,” he said. “After falling by nearly 20 per cent from the peak in 2004, house approvals have been flatlining for over two years now and the short term outlook is for more of the same." “It will take falling interest rates next year to spark a release of pent-up demand, with the danger that skill shortages and other capacity constraints will stymie the upturn, forcing price hikes and delays,” Mr Jones said. The total number of dwelling units approved, seasonally adjusted, fell by 0.7 per cent to 12,237 units in June, to be 7.8 per cent lower than the same month in the previous year. Private sector house approvals remained the same at 8,699, to be up 0.1 per cent on the same month last year. The more volatile private sector ‘other dwellings’ (apartments and townhouses), fell by 1.4 per cent in June, to be 22.0 per cent lower than in June 2007. Source: Master Builders Association - http:--www.masterbuilders.com.au-News-ShowArticle.asp?articleNo=486<-a>
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