Light at the end of building tunnel

NEW home building numbers are still down but the end of the decline is in sight, according to the Real Estate Institute of WA.

Nationally the number of building approvals in September was 38 per cent down on the same month last year when the new home building sector was booming, REIWA president Graham Joyce said.

In WA, approvals rose in September but were still 39 per cent down on the same month in 1999.

“The new home building sector is still feeling the after effects of the pre-GST building boom,” Mr Joyce said.

“However the trend in the latest building approvals show a slowing in the decline, which we expect will turn into a bottoming in the current slump.

“The building slump in 2000 is already at levels comparable to the previous low points in 1991 and 1996.

“The GST has brought on the current low point in building activity more quickly than in previous downturns. This means that there is not much excess stock of housing left over after last year’s boom.”

Mr Joyce said in the long term this would speed up the start of the new home building recovery.

“The current slump in new home building also mirrors the slump in sales of established dwellings, which are at the lowest level in over two years,” he said.

“It is causing difficulty for businesses who are not adjusting well to the post GST boom period.

“There are signs that the established housing market is emerging from the slump in the lead up to Christmas, however it is still to early to confirm.”

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