The Housing Industry Association quotes preliminary ABS figures to reveal that the new home building upturn may have peaked earlier in 2014. 

The September 2014 quarter figures indicate that a total of $13.4 billion worth of work was done in the residential construction sector, representing a 1.6 per cent reduction on the previous quarter but 8.6 per cent higher than a year earlier.

Total work done on new dwelling construction declined by 1.8 per cent during the quarter, but was still 9.5 per cent higher than the same period of the previous year. Renovations work remained unchanged during the September 2014 quarter and was 2.8 per cent higher than a year earlier.

According to HIA Senior Economist Shane Garrett, the figures provide further evidence that the upturn in new home building activity may have peaked during 2014.

He explained that Australia needs to build about 180,000 homes per year over the longer term to meet its requirements. Having only recently reached this threshold, with current trends moving below it, the situation will impact the country’s housing prospects.

Shane Garrett also expressed concern that the renovations market did not make any progress over the most recent quarter, noting that this area of residential construction has endured a slump over the past few years.

Observing that the residential building industry is at risk of falling behind in the quest to provide enough housing for future generations of Australians, Shane Garrett added that several factors still remain as major obstacles to new home building including land supply bottlenecks, planning delays and excessive taxation.