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WA Home Building Forecast To Recover In 2020/21

June 22, 2020

Western Australia’s home building sector is forecast to recover over the coming twelve months, according to the latest HIA Outlook for new home building.

Nearly 16,000 starts are now being forecast for 2020/21 across detached and multi-unit starts, said HIA WA Executive Director Cath Hart.

The full report can be download by members or ordered by non-members.

“HIA’s new forecast for residential building starts in WA shows a strong recovery following unprecedented support from the state and federal governments,” Ms Hart said. 

“We now expect the September quarter to be the bottom of the prolonged downturn in residential building in WA which started in June 2014. 

“This will be positive for home building and the broader WA economy.

 “After six of the toughest years on record, we had seen signs of recovery in early 2020 and were expecting to build nearly 20,000 homes but slashed this to fewer than 10,000 new dwellings when COVID-19 struck, following the collapse in international migration and a spike in unemployment. 

Ms Hart said this would have been a 40 per cent decline from from last year, to next. 

“However, following the announcement of consumer stimulus, positive population growth for WA, we now expect 15,950 dwelling starts in Western Australia in 2020/21,” Ms Hart said.

 “This is due to signs that WA will potentially recover faster and stronger from COVID-19, following Premier Mark McGowan’s Building Bonus scheme and the Social Housing Economic Recovery Program, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s HomeBuilder program, our FIFO relocation policy, as well as efforts to slash red tape for approvals. 

“These measures, plus the unique features of our extraordinary state, position WA to “come back better”, emerging from the global pandemic with a more resilient domestic economy and an attractive destination for business investment and interstate and international migrants.

 “HIA is proud to have worked closely with the Government to advise on the conditions industry faced as a result of COVID-19, and to outline options to support jobs and businesses in residential building.

 “We are already seeing the positive impact of the Building Bonus on jobs and activity, with the larger builders advising they expect all staff to have returned to full-time hours by the end of June. 

“According to our latest industry-wide survey, news of the Building Bonus sparked a 132% increase in the number of groups visiting display homes, and a 73% increase in the number of qualified customer leads. 

“Importantly, the same data also revealed a slow down in jobs starting on site, the first evidence of the trough in sales during COVID manifesting as a contraction in construction - so the assistance measures couldn’t have come a moment later.”

HIA will be holding a virtual Economic Outlook Update on Thursday 2 July with HIA Chief Economist, Tim Reardon to explain how 2021 will impact home building activity, where you can register online.