Rates, land shortage blow to housing

WESTERN Australia’s owner-occupier market remains has slowed substantially in the past two months with the number of housing finance commitments dropping again in October, though the dollar value rose slightly. The Housing Industry Association said the slowdown was due to the lack of available developed land and three increases in official interest rates this year. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show nationally there were 62,342 owner-occupier housing commitments worth $13.78 billion in October, compared with WA’s 8,500 worth $1.84 billion. New deal between NWS, Tokyo Gas WESTERN Australia’s North West Shelf joint venture has signed an eight-year deal to supply 530,000 tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year to Tokyo Gas, Japan’s biggest gas utility. The deal extends the North West Shelf’s long-running relationship with Tokyo Gas, which signed its first contract in 1985. That ends in March 2009. The NWS participants and Tokyo Gas have another current contract that started in 2003. The majority of the North West Shelf partners’ sales from its 7.5 million tonnes of LNG production are to Japanese customers under long-term contractual agreement.

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