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HIA Home Building Recovery Plan: Covid-19

Housing contributes to Australia’s economic stability

In 2018/19, the residential building industry directly engaged a workforce of over 1 million people delivering new homes, new apartments, and renovating Australia’s 9 million existing homes.

Around 60 per cent of those in construction roles are engaged in the building trades, representing over 460,000 workers.

Australia’s residential building industry delivers around 180,000 homes each year to meet Australia’s ongoing demand for new housing.

Home building work in 2018 generated $105 billion to the Australian economy and represented 5.8 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product.

Changing tide for housing

The housing industry has been able to continue operating during the COVID-19 restrictions allowing much of the pre-COVID-19 home building work to continue.

Despite this, new home sales and renovation sales reduced significantly in March and April and are expected to remain low in May. Project cancellations are also conspiring to reduce the forward work pool sooner.

The housing industry delivered 196,400 new homes in FY 2018/19. HIA’s pre-COVID19 forecast predicted that 171,000 new homes would commence in FY2019/20, while FY2020/21 would see a small increase in activity to reach 177,100 starts.

Taking account of COVID-19, HIA’s National Outlook now estimates that activity will decline substantially in the second half of 2020. New home starts are now forecast to fall to 111,500 for FY 2020/21: a 43 per cent reduction in activity from 2018/19.

The residential building industry is now facing the reality of losing up to 50 per cent of the 1 million people working in our industry.

Call for action

HIA has provided the Australian Government, State and Territory Governments, with a suite of measures aimed at halting the decline in new home sales, retaining those customers that had commenced working with a home builder before 1 March 2020 and stimulating new customers to enter the market. Read HIA’s Home Building Recovery Plan