Building approvals fell sharply in April 2012, sending a negative signal regarding the wider domestic economy.
In the month of April 2012, seasonally adjusted building approvals fell by 8.7 per cent – their lowest level since January 2009.
“Building approvals have continued to fall over 2012 to date and imply a recessionary level of new residential construction in 2012,” Housing Industry association chief economist Harley Dale said.
“That’s not a positive, upbeat outcome to report, but it is a fact which can’t be ignored or denied.
“The last three months of building approvals confirm HIA’s message that housing starts are heading towards 130,000. That’s a recessionary level of new home building activity with obvious flow-on consequences for Australia’s manufacturing and retail sectors, and employment market.
“Leading indicators over recent quarters have pointed to this poor result and, worryingly, suggest more to come.”
But, Mr Dale said the situation could be turned around through an injection of government stimulus.
“The HIA once again calls on governments to collectively arrest the looming crisis through tax relief and an injection of investment and funding into the new housing sector. Such an injection will also provide vital impetus to the broader non-resource economy,” he said.