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WA Housing Starts to Reach Strongest Fiscal Year in Over a Decade

The Housing Industry Association released the Spring 2013 edition of its Western Australia Outlook last week, which is the state’s most comprehensive housing report card. I am pleased to report the industry is in good shape. Activity in the industry is strong, however we are continuing to highlight to all levels of Government the need for action on our building and planning approvals process, to improve its efficiency and provide better outcomes for HIA members and their clients.

The WA Outlook finds that the strong momentum in new home building this year is set to take housing starts to the highest fiscal-year level in over a decade. However, renovations activity in the state is expected to make only modest improvements leaving activity at levels below previous highs.

WA’s population continues to grow the most rapidly among the states and territories, so it is encouraging to see a much-needed increase in housing stock in response to this growing demand.

New housing starts commenced a recovery in 2012/13, jumping by 34.5 per cent to reach a level of 24,050. HIA is forecasting a further increase of 8.5 per cent in the 2013/14 to reach 26,090, a fiscal year outcome not seen in over a decade.

HIA’s National Outlook highlights higher levels of new dwelling commencements and steady recovery in renovations investment from a ten year low.

The improving level of dwelling commencements achieved in 2012/13 will be consolidated this year before moving up a further leg in 2014/15. Growth in housing starts during 2013/14 will be concentrated in large states like WA, NSW and QLD.

Record low interest rates and strong population growth is driving increased demand for housing. In this context, it is absolutely crucial that planning reforms and infrastructure delivery facilitate the requisite supply of new housing. There currently exist many bottlenecks around titled land supply, infrastructure and the time taken to achieve planning approval for new dwellings. It is important that both federal and state governments address these obstacles and work with the housing industry in delivering a sufficient supply of affordable housing.

Source: HIA WA John Gelavis Acting Executive Director 

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