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$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

New home commencements in 2023 were the lowest since 2012

Media release

New home commencements in 2023 were the lowest since 2012

Media release
“There were only 163,836 new homes that commenced construction in 2023, the lowest volume of starts in over a decade, and far from the 240,000 required each year to meet the Australian government’s target of 1.2 million new homes over the next five years,” stated HIA Chief Economist, Tim Reardon.

The ABS this week released its building activity data for the December Quarter 2023. This data provides estimates of the value of building work and number of dwellings commenced, completed and under construction across Australia and its states and territories.

“There were 30,062 detached houses that completed construction in the December Quarter 2023, but only 23,893 new houses commencing construction,” added Mr Reardon.

“This was one of the strongest quarters of house completions of the last five years, up by 4.3 per cent compared to the previous quarter to produce a total of 114,178 completions in 2023 calendar year.

“New house commencements, however, have been declining for over two years, with a small 2.9 per cent uptick in the December quarter after an unexpectedly weak September quarter. This resulted in just 99,708 new detached house commencements in 2023, the lowest in a calendar year for a decade.

“With commencements at a decade low and completions at elevated levels, the result is that the volume of houses under construction is falling rapidly. The volume of homes under construction fell by 7.9 per cent in the December quarter albeit from record high levels over recent years.

“Commencement of multi-units also remains around decade lows, with a 2.1 per cent decline in the December quarter bringing the calendar year to 63,004, even lower than the 63,022 in 2022. These are the two weakest years for multi-unit commencements since 2012.

“This slowing in home building will drag on national economic growth in 2024.

“This has been an incredibly well broadcast housing downturn, with a 2024 trough in detached housing commencements predicted back in May 2022 when the RBA first started increasing interest rates.

“This lack of new work entering the pipeline is occurring at the same time that Australia is experiencing record population growth on top of a pre-existing and acute shortage of housing,” concluded Mr Reardon.

For more information please contact:

Tim Reardon

HIA Chief Economist

Thomas Devitt

HIA Senior Economist
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