GDP headline conceals declining housing construction

adelaide housing stock image

The lift in GDP for the September 2019 quarter is welcome, but conceals a worrying decline in housing construction which will undermine housing supply and affordability for our growing population.

Dwelling investment recorded its fourth consecutive quarterly decline, down by 1.7 per cent for the September 2019 quarter, and down by 9.6 per cent over the year in seasonally adjusted terms.

“This means fewer housing construction jobs, and fewer houses being supplied to our growing population especially in our major cities,” said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia.

“Residential construction is one of the big engines of the Australian economy – but it’s also essential for ensuring we have a strong pipeline of new housing coming to the market to meet demand and support affordability.

“Where will the new houses we need come from? The Commonwealth, state and territory governments need to a take wholistic view of the housing sector and deliver the right policies and planning schemes to stimulate investment and support growth.

“The recent recovery in housing prices isn’t translating into new construction and economic activity.

“We need to look behind the headline figures to really take stock of what is really happening in the housing economy,” Mr Morrison said.

Source: Property Council of Australia