Building activity has hit the highest levels ever, as the after effect of the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder scheme continues to flow through the economy.
Housing Industry Association economist Tom Devitt says official figures may not truly reflect the enormous scale of demand for new builds in Australia at the moment because lockdowns in some states resulted in restricted movements for a few months at the end of 2021.
He says September Quarter figures for building work from the ABS show a 16.5% drop in activity for new detached homes. But, he says, if lockdowns hadn’t delayed work for a few months, the figures would have been much higher.
“The constraint on home building is not demand but the availability of land, labour and materials,” he says.
“The shortage of labour and materials has led to construction timeframes increasing significantly.”
Despite the “lull” there were about 36,000 new house commencements in the September Quarter.
In addition, the number of new home unit commencements were up 12% on the same time the previous year. Tasmania (240%), Western Australia (37%) and Victoria (17%) all had increases in building commencements.
The figures also show a decade highest level of approved-but-not-yet-commenced work.
Devitt expects continued strong levels of building into 2023.