NSW private sector home approvals down 9.6 per cent

02 March 2010

NSW private sector home approvals have continued to slide for a third straight month in a row, according to the Urban Taskforce.

The Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel said that the Australian Bureau of Statistics seasonally adjusted figures for January show the number of private homes approved in NSW fell by 9.6 per cent in comparison with the previous month.


This is a 14.9 per cent decline in seasonally adjusted private sector approvals since October 2009, he said.


Things only look positive when the governments massive public housing program is included its turned Januarys drop into a 3.4 per cent increase in home approvals.


Mr Gadiel said the private sector approval numbers were the best barometer of the economys underlying health, rather than figures that include the government-funded public housing program.


Sooner or later the public housing program will have to come to an end and then the economic consequence of the very weak levels of private sector home development will hit home, he said.


Privately developed apartments and townhouses were hit hardest in January with a 13.8 per cent seasonally adjusted fall.


Mr Gadiel said that 1,400 new homes were approved in NSW in January 2010.


This is the second worst January home approval figure for NSW in the ABS records going back to 1984, he said.


The worst was January 2009 while the latest number is 30 per cent higher than last year, its 31 per cent lower than the January 2008 figure.


Todays Reserve Bank interest rate rise by 25 basis points, to 4 per cent will further damage our chances of getting more housing developed, Mr Gadiel said.


Most people will rely on housing developed by the private sector for a roof over their heads.


Government and local councils cannot sit by while the private sector development of homes, flat lines.


We need urgent steps to re-build confidence in NSW housing development.


This means less red tape, lower development levies and more certainty about planning approvals.


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.


For every $1 million in construction expenditure, 27 jobs are created throughout the broader economy.


The construction activity made possible by property developers contributes $78 billion to the national economy each year and creates 849,000 direct jobs



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