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Residential property approvals announced for June

On Jul 31 2013
Tagged as:
  • Residential

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has outlined the June figures for ...

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has outlined the June figures for residential property approvals in the private sector.

In trend terms, the total number of private sector house approvals was up 1 per cent in June, making it the sixth consecutive month to see an increase in this section of the market.

However, June saw the first drop in total value of building approvals in 17 months, falling by 0.5 per cent.

Those with a vested interest in the property market have already started responding to the release.

Master Builders Australia (MBA) highlighted parts of the data that showed the total number of seasonally adjusted dwellings fell by 6.9 per cent.

Chief economist of MBA Peter Jones called the result "disappointing" and said it "puts into question the timing and strength of the recovery in the residential building sector" in a statement on July 30.

Concern for the builders and construction workers who rely on a strong property industry for their livelihoods drove Mr Jones to suggest that the Reserve Bank of Australia consider interest rate cuts in the upcoming meeting in early August.

After the official cash rate was dropped from 3 per cent to 2.75 per cent in May this year, most organisations have agreed that the cut has positively affected the property and building sectors.

However, "it would appear it has further work ahead if it is to stimulate the industry they are hoping will buttress the economy as we transition from the minerals boom," Mr Jones said.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has also made its voice heard in light of the ABS release.

According to the HIA, the June data simply highlights the vulnerability of residential construction, citing the fact that the number of residential building approvals is now 13 per cent lower than it was a year ago.

Similarly to the MBA, the call was made for the Reserve Bank to consider further interest rate cuts to improve the property situation, although senior economist Shane Garrett admitted that there was no simple fix.

"There had been some signs in earlier months that a housing recovery was underway but today's figures put a large question mark over that," he said. 

Other improvements for those looking at buying a house and those working in the industry could be achieved by reducing structural impediments, addressing taxation burdens and reassessing excessive planning barriers and costs, according to the HIA.

"The forthcoming election provides a real opportunity for solutions to these issues to be advanced," concluded Mr Garrett.

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