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Despite a rise in the September building approvals figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the short term outlook remains fragile for residential builders.
Nationally, total dwelling units approved increased 7.8 per cent, primarily due to a 17.9 per cent increase in residential apartments, seasonally adjusted. The more important indicator, private sector housing, rose only 1.2 per cent, seasonally adjusted.
Wilhelm Harnisch, Master Builders Australia Chief Executive Officer said the September increase in the total number of building approvals does not accurately reflect industry conditions.
“Builders continue to report that activity is low and that the outlook remains poor in the short term.
“The 7.8 per cent increase in the total number of dwelling units approved dramatically masks the ongoing sluggish housing sector recovery.
“The more telling statistic is the private sector housing figure, which only increased by 1.2 per cent. The overall figure is masked by a 17.9 per cent increase in residential apartments, which is still recovering from a 40 per cent decrease from July.
“While there are welcome increases in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, overall the housing picture is one of a sluggish recovery, despite the cumulative cuts in interest rates.
“Master Builders September quarter National Survey revealed low consumer confidence is the major factor holding back what should be a more sustained and stronger housing recovery at this stage of the housing cycle.
“Today’s figures indicate another 50 basis point interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia is warranted to underpin the fragile and fledgling signs of a housing recovery,” Mr Harnisch said
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