Regional Executive Director Report
August 24, 2020
Stage 4 and Building
Our members have adapted to a huge number of changes during Stage 4 restrictions over the past few weeks. The changes and lack of lead time has caused a great deal of confusion in the industry and we have worked to get answers from government to the many questions you have raised. All this has been done whilst assisting everyone with the new restrictions and a new way of working.
HIA asked for more flexibility for many single trades beyond the current 3 sites a week rule. These trades, many of whom work alone, are vital to keeping residential sites and projects moving. Without some changes, home building, which the government has said is permitted to remain open, will grind to a standstill. This is problematic not only for members and their teams but also for many home buyers who had planned to move into their finished new homes during this time. Our work on behalf of members continues and we will keep you updated. Read more on stage 4.
We will now turn our focus to the weeks ahead and returning to a way of operating that will assist rebuild the lost sales that many of you will have seen from the closure of displays and sales suites. Also we are seeking more time for home buyers to sign for the HomeBuilder grant - as home building and sales have been impacted by the slow down during Victoria’s stage 4 restrictions. Finally once we know more, we will provide you with an update on whether the state of emergency will continue past the allocated 6 months as is being currently considered by Government and what this might mean for businesses.
HIA’s Outlooks show that Victoria’s slowing population growth and tighter access to finance will continue to weigh on housing demand in the state over the next decade.
Population growth and the subsequent demand for housing was driving economic growth in Victoria prior to COVID-19. The uncertainty around future migration activity is a greater risk to the long-term outlook for Victoria than in other states. Despite all this, Victoria's housing market remained resilient despite the state’s COVID-19 challenges and the reintroduction of restrictions during July. New home sales increasing by 39.5 per cent over the two months since the HomeBuilder announcement (June and July 2020). But this data pre-dates the introduction of Stage 4 restrictions in August, however, and dwelling starts are still forecast to decline, largely due to a rapid slowing in apartment construction. Read more.