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Building approvals better but not enough

by Staff Reporter8 minute read
The Adviser

Building approvals improved slightly in January this year, ABS data has revealed.

Total dwelling approvals for the month rose to 13,166 – 1.9 per cent more than in December 2007.

While a slight increase, Master Builders chief economist Peter Jones said the figure highlighted the significant shortage of new building developments and said Australia seems destined to experience such a shortage for some time.

“The latest data show national approvals running at an annual rate of 158,000, whereas at least 190,000 per annum are required simply to meet underlying demand, with another 20,000 needed on top of that (annually) to make up for the existing shortfall,” he said.

To adequately cater for the country’s housing needs, Mr Jones said approvals would have to sit around 210,000 for at least five years consecutively. The latest interest rate rises however are decreasing any chances of that happening, he said.

Published: 10-03-08

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