Horizon tough, says MBA

WHILE the building industry experienced boom conditions during the first six months of 2000, tougher times were ahead, according to the Master Builders Association of WA.

The MBA believes any further increases in interest rates would be disastrous for consumer confidence and business prospects.

The pessimistic MBA view came in the shadow of the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics building approval data which showed that in seasonally adjusted terms, total WA building approvals fell a massive 27 per cent in July alone.

Building approvals are now down 42 per cent compared with July last year.

MBA director Michael McLean said there was no doubt that the “beat the GST’ hype had brought forward a lot of demand for new homes.

“The hang-over following these high levels of housing activity are now starting to be felt through a significant slowdown in sales,” Mr McLean said.

“Unfortunately, lengthy periods of wet weather, and increases in petrol prices haven’t helped the situation.”

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