Construction of new homes in Australia has peaked

Getty/Ian Waldie

New home construction hit a record high in 2016, and is expected to slow in the near-term.

That’s the consensus of the Housing Industry Association (HIA), in a National Outlook report to be released today.

Calendar year 2016 “will long occupy a special place in the history of Australia’s residential building industry. New dwelling starts hit an all-time high of 228,230 during the year – the culmination of the longest housing upturn since the end of WWII,” said HIA senior economist, Shane Garrett.

HIA Economics

“Even though new dwelling starts will decline over the next couple of years, the annual volume of new home starts is not likely to fall below 173,000 at any stage. By any standard, this is still a very robust level of activity.”

Although 2016 set a record for new home construction, the imbalances in the Australian property market were reflected by the fact that four out of eight states recorded falls in new home construction last year.

The HIA’s National Outlook report will also discuss the ongoing issue of housing affordability, with specific reference to onerous taxation rules which account for over 40% of the price of a new house in several markets.