Housing starts have fallen a seasonally adjusted 12.6 per cent in the March 2012 quarter to just 30,623 starts. This is the lowest number of commencements since 2001 and further evidence not all is well in the housing market. For the year, housing starts have plunged 24.5 percent.
Short term stimulus in the form of the First Home Owners’ Boost (FHOB) and various state government incentives helped prop up an unsustainable housing market after the GFC. Most of this stimulus has now gone, removing any artificial support.
In New South Wales, starts are at the lowest level since records starting in September 1984. Last week, the NSW government announced more stimulus to help its faltering housing building sector. The state grant for first home buyers building a new home under the value of $650,000 will increase from $7,000 to $15,000 on the 1st October 2012. In addition, other buyers will get a $5,000 new home grant for new home purchases up to $650,000. It is possible buyers may hold off purchases until the 1st of October in order to qualify for the new incentives.
» 8750.0 – Dwelling Unit Commencements, Australia, Preliminary, Mar 2012 – The Australian Bureau of Statistics, 20th June 2012.
» First home buyers grant doubled in NSW – News Limited, 12th June 2012.