NSWs 2008 home approvals 12 per cent below previous record low

04 February 2009

Less NSW homes were approved for construction in December than in any other month in recorded history, according to todays Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures.

The latest figures also confirm that 2008 was the worst year for new home approvals in NSW ever recorded. Aaron Gadiel, chief executive of the Urban Taskforce, said that todays ABS figures reveal that only 1,800 NSW homes were approved in December.


Only 27,600 homes were approved for construction in NSW in 2008, which is 12 per cent lower than the previous record trough of 31,300 set in 2007, Mr Gadiel said.


The average number of NSW homes approved each year since the ABS began collecting data in 1983 is 42,000.


Mr Gadiel said the home approval figures were significant because they indicate the likely level of construction activity within 6-12 months.


2009 will see a major drought in privately financed new home construction, he said.


Only 14,300 new houses were approved in NSW in 2008 the lowest number ever recorded by the ABS.


Only 13,300 new apartments and town houses were approved the lowest number of approvals NSW has seen since 1987.


The ABS data shows that home approvals in NSW have been trending negatively for 12 months with a 31 per cent fall over this period. It compares with a negative trend in Victoria of only five months, with a 17 per cent fall.


Queensland has been harder hit off a higher base where the trend has been negative for 14 months. Queensland has seen a 49 per cent fall in the home approvals trend figure over this period. Mr Gadiel said these figures emphasise the importance of the Federal Governments scheme to build 20,000 social housing dwellings.


But its crucial this new federal scheme does not do away with private enterprise, he said.


A scheme that relies on bureaucrats to develop new housing could de-skill our property industry.


The purchase of homes newly-developed by the private sector should be the primary means of securing these 20,000 dwellings.


The new social housing properties should either be acquired by spot purchasing newly-constructed homes or a competitive tender from developers willing to offer up homes from projects already in the pipeline.


Mr Gadiel said the Federal Government should also move as quickly as possible to extend the $21,000 grant to first home buyers for newly-built homes. The grant was announced in October last year as part of the first economic security package and is due to end on June 30.


Between October and November last year, the number of new houses purchased by first-home buyers shot-up by almost 10 per cent, Mr Gadiel said.


Mr Gadiel said that local councils needed to actively support the development industry by quickly dealing with development proposals.


Reviving NSW development and construction needs to be a top priority for every level of government, Mr Gadiel said.


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

Please see the PDF attachment below for illustrative graphs.



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