“New home building held up well during the September 2018 quarter despite the tougher market conditions,” according to Master Builders Australia’s Chief Economist Shane Garrett.
The ABS figures on Construction Work Done released this morning indicate that new residential building work eased back by 1.8% during the quarter but was still some 4.7% higher than a year earlier.
“Surprisingly, the apartment/unit side of the market put in a strong performance and came close to surpassing its busiest quarter on record. Work on detached houses fell by 3.2% compared with the previous quarter,” Shane Garrett said.
“The performance of residential building has proven more resilient than expected in light of the unfolding credit crunch and less favourable conditions in Australia’s largest housing markets,” he said.
“Going forward, we do expect the tougher financial environment to take its toll on the volume of new home building over the next few years. Larger apartment projects will probably see the biggest reduction,” Shane Garrett said.
Today’s figures also indicate that non-residential building declined by 2.4% during the September 2018 quarter and that engineering construction fell by 4.5%.
“With the federal Budget set be delivered earlier next year, it is important that it includes measures to support our sector’s capacity to meet the building needs of a steadily growing population,” Shane Garret said.