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Slump in new housing bodes badly for 2011

By webmaster
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New housing starts fell in the September 2010 quarter, new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed today.

Total housing starts declined by 13.2 per cent in the third quarter of the year, in a worse-than-expected result, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

“Every category of dwelling starts fell, across both the private and public sectors, with the magnitude of the result driven largely by the fall in public sector “other dwellings” which is down by 26.6 per cent in the September quarter,” HIA senior economist, Andrew Harvey said.

“This is due to the unwinding of the federal government’s Social Housing Initiative, with the number of public sector “other dwelling” starts falling from 17,327 in the June quarter to 12,726 in the September quarter.”

Leaving aside the public sector result, private sector detached house starts fell by 4.3 per cent and private sector “other dwellings” fell by 13.5 per cent, in the quarter, Mr Harvey noted.

“The results are disappointing in that they confirm HIA’s view that we are heading into a period of much weaker atmospherics for residential building, and given the September quarter result is ahead of any impact from the Melbourne Cup day interest rate hikes we are in for a pretty soft 2011 in terms of housing starts,” added Andrew Harvey.

The number of housing starts (including conversions) in the September 2010 quarter fell by 14.5 per cent in New South Wales, 25.2 per cent in Queensland, 5.7 per cent in South Australia,19.9 per cent in Western Australia and 30.5 per cent in the ACT.

Housing starts rose by 1.5 per cent in Victoria, 22.0 per cent in Tasmania, and 27.6 per cent in NT.

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