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Thursday, 5 December 1974


Mr McLeay asked the Minister for Housing and Construction, upon notice:

(   1 ) Did loans by permanent building societies in Australia total (a) $ 1,200m to build 75,000 dwellings in 1972-73 and (b) $770m to build 45,000 dwellings in 1 973-74

(2)   Were the projections for 1974-75$600m to build 30,000 dwellings.

(3)   Are the revised projections for 1974-75, announced by the permanent building societies last week, $300 m to build 15,000 dwellings in the whole of Australia.

(4)   Does he agree with these projections: if not what are his projections.

(5)   Is the estimated short fall of dwellings (a) 30.000. ( b) 40,000 or (c) 50,000 or more for 1 974-75.

(6)   Is the home building industry in a crisis situation.

(7)   Are the problems of the home building industry caused by actions of the Australian Treasury.

(8)   What responsibility does he have with respect to the well-being of the Australian home building industry.


Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) The number and value of loans approved for housing by permanent building societies in 1 972-73 and 1 973-74 are shown in the following table:

 

(2)   and (3) I understand that the Australian Association of Permanent Building Societies had originally estimated that permanent building societies would make loan approvals totalling $600m throughout Australia for both new and previously occupied dwellings in 1974-75. This estimate was recently reduced to $300m. I also understand that the Association estimates that this lending rate will finance the construction of 15,000 dwellings.

(4)   Lending by permanent building societies in 1974-75 will be dependent on a number of factors. Like other financial institutions, their ability to obtain finance has been affected by the tight monetary conditions and this has been reflected in their lending rate so far this financial year. Their lending capacity was also reduced by the extremely high withdrawal rate in the first few weeks of October. However the package of measures which the Government has taken to increase the money supply and therefore liquidity in the economy will result in increased inflow of funds into permanent building societies which will mean that more finance for housing will be available from the societies in 1975. However, I have not made any quantified estimate of value of loan approvals by the permanents in 1974-75 but I would expect it to be in excess of the estimate of $300m made in October by the Association of Permanent Building Societies.

(5)   Projections of housing demand form part of the exercise in indicative planning which is the responsibility of the Indicative Planning Council. This Council is still in the developmental stage and no estimates of feasible or desirable level of home building activity for 1974-75 or for future years have been finalised as yet.

(6)   My Department estimates that the home building industry has the present capacity to build between 150,000 and 155,000 dwellings per year. Although the industry is operating below capacity at this time, the measures taken should ensure that by the June quarter of 1975, activity will be at a reasonable level.

(7)   No.

(8)   The general objectives of the Australian Government's housing policy are to ensure that every family can secure accommodation appropriate to his needs. As Minister for Housing and Construction, I am responsible for the implementation of this policy.







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