New home building starts across Australia have reached a new high. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that they hit a quarterly record of 55,432 in the September Quarter. The high of 215,329 for the 12 months to September 2015 is 15% up on the previous peak in 1994.
“This is a stellar result not only for the residential construction industry, but for the wider economy,” said Harley Dale, chief economist of the Housing Industry Association (HIA). “New home construction has posted one of its longest up-cycles in history, providing substantial support to Australia’s economic output and levels of employment.
“New home construction has propped up the Australian economy at a time when no other sector has come to the party.”
But there are considerable regional variations. A breakdown of the figures shows that new starts increased 17.4% in the Northern Territory but only 2.4% in New South Wales, 1.7% in Western Australia, 1.2% in South Australia and 0.4% in ACT.
At the other end of the scale new building starts fell 21% in Tasmania, 3.8% in Victoria and 1% in Queensland, the ABS data also shows.