New housing starts continued to slump in the December quarter with apartment and unit construction braking markedly.
New dwelling commencements decreased to 32,637 during the quarter, the ABS said yesterday, resulting in a 9.9 per cent quarterly fall and a 19.5 per cent decline from one year ago.
Other dwellings – multi-units and apartments – fell by a more dramatic 20.7 per cent during the quarter to just under 9,000 new commencements.
Commenting on the results, Housing Industry Association (HIA) chief economist Harley Dale said:
“The fact that starts dropped so far in the second half of last year highlights just how important the first home buyer stimulus is in 2009 and just how urgent the need is to implement the plan to construct new public and community housing dwellings, which will generate a multiplier effect for private dwellings along the way.”