30 August 2011
Private sector home approvals have descended to their lowest July level in 11 years, according to new figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.
The Urban Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said that you had to go back to the year 2000 to find a worse July for private sector home approvals.
Just 12,200 new private sector homes were approved in July this year, compared to 14,400 in the same month last year, and a July average of 13,900 over the last 10 years, Mr Gadiel said.
In seasonally adjusted terms private sector home approvals were 0.6 per cent lower than in the previous month.
The headline home approval rate shows an increase of 1 per cent, but this is misleading because there was a 77 per cent spike in public housing approvals, Mr Gadiel said.
Mr Gadiel said the declines were widespread across the states.
Victoria led the way with a 6.5 per cent drop in private sector home approvals, followed by a 5.2 per cent fall in Queensland and a more modest 1.1 per cent decline in Western Australia, he said.
NSW bucked the trend with a 5.7 per cent increase. Mr Gadiel said that approvals for private sector detached houses fell by 0.2 per cent.
But more worryingly, approvals for medium and high density homes fell by 1.4 per cent following a 4.5 per cent fall in June and a 16.6 per cent fall in May.
In trend terms, private sector home approvals fell by 1.2 per cent in July across Australia, topping off eight straight months of decline.
The four largest states are all trending negatively, Mr Gadiel said.
Since March NSW has declined by 13.1 per cent, Victoria by 9.1 per cent, Western Australia by 4.2 per cent and Queensland by 2.8 per cent.
Mr Gadiel said that it was high time the Reserve Bank made it clear that interest rates would be coming down, and that there was no risk of an increase.
The Reserve Banks misplaced threats of an increase, together with their current muddled message, has helped damage the housing supply across Australia, he said.
Mr Gadiel said the latest housing numbers meant that Australias housing shortfall was destined to get even worse.
Its ironic that these numbers follow this months decision by the Council of Australian Governments to bury a Productivity Commission report on the systemic problems with state town planning laws, he said.
These numbers paint a picture which state and federal governments are studiously ignoring.
The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.