Dwelling approvals released yesterday by the ABS showed barely any sign of change for February, and are now falling in annual terms, according to Master Builders Australia (MBA).
The total number of dwelling units approved, seasonally adjusted, rose by 0.1 per cent to 13,146 in February – 16 per cent lower than during February 2007.
“Recovery in residential building is being set back as a result of interest rate increases by the Reserve Bank and, independently, by the banks as they pass on higher borrowing costs,” MBA chief economist Peter Jones said.
He said Australia would now seem “destined to experience a chronic shortage of housing for an extended period,” with national building approvals running at only 158,000 per year.
“Approvals of 210,000 per annum would be needed to be maintained for at least five years to adequately cater for Australia’s housing needs,” he said.
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