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$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Volume of homes under construction 80% above pre-COVID levels

Media release

Volume of homes under construction 80% above pre-COVID levels

Media release
Commencements of detached homes fell by 11.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2022, from 33,905 to 30,145. While this is a long way down from the peaks of the HomeBuilder boom, this is still a stronger than pre-COVID levels. It also sustains total commencements for the last 12 months at 143,037, a record high,” stated HIA Economist, Tom Devitt.

“The slowing in commencements is not due to slowing demand. Home building activity in the first quarter of 2022 was held back by staff shortages associated with the Omicron outbreak and the higher than usual uptake of holiday leave,” added Mr Devitt.

“Detached completions also managed to climb by 10.8 per cent, from 28,098 in December 2021 quarter to 31,145 in March 2022. This is the strongest quarter of completions since September 2018 and represents the gradual but continued progress being made in the HomeBuilder pipeline.

“Despite the rise in completions and decline in commencement of new homes, the volume of detached work under construction is almost 80 per cent above its pre-pandemic levels.

“This was driven by the combination of the HomeBuilder grant and record low interest rates. Even after the end of the grant, all the extra time Australians were spending at home either working or locked down, resulted in a pandemic trend towards space and amenity. This kept demand for new housing and renovations elevated. Other indicators, such as building approvals, finance approvals and new home sales, continue to show a strong volume of work entering the pipeline.

“In addition to this, the multi-units market is also continuing to strengthen. Multi-unit commencements increased by 1.8 per cent in the March 2022 quarter to be 29.7 per cent up in the last 12 months compared to the previous year. This improvement has been seen in both high-rise and medium density units.

“With interest rates and the cost of building increasing rapidly, affordability constraints will increasingly push home buyers back towards more affordable, higher density living and with the return of migration, demand for units should continue to strengthen.

“The combination of all these demand and supply factors – an enormous pipeline of detached and renovations work, rising interest rates, the return of overseas migrants, and ongoing supply constraints – will keep Australian builders busy in 2023,” concluded Mr Devitt.

Snapshot of building activity pipeline - houses

Source : HIA economics, ABS 8752.0, ABS 8731.0

For more information please contact:

Thomas Devitt

Economist

Tim Reardon

Chief Economist
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