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Housing activity continues to fall



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15 March 1995

M E D I A R E L E A S E

MASTER BUILDI A U S T R A L I

3 r d F l o o r

C o n s t r u c t i o n H o u s e

2 1 7 N o r t h b o u r n e A ye .

T u r n e r , C a n b e r r a

A C T 2601

T e l e p h o n e : (0 6 ) 2 4 9 1433

HOUSING ACTIVITY CONTINUES TO FALL F acsim ile: ( M ) 249 .373

A Statement by Wilhelm Harnisch, National Director Economics & Housing

The release o f the ABS preliminary dwelling unit commencements data for the December quarter 1995 has confirmed that the housing industry was still in the grips of a downturn late last year, falling by 7.3 per cent over the September quarter and 35.4 per cent below the December quarter 1994 (seasonally adjusted).

The fall in the December quarter 1995 was uniform across all states, with only the ACT recording an increase. The largest fall was recorded in New South Wales, falling by 12.4 per cent, with Western Australia being the most resilient, showing a marginal fall o f 0.4 per cent.

While recent ABS housing data provides a more positive outlook for housing activity in 1996, it nevertheless points to a further decline in activity in the March quarter 1996 o f around 2.0 per cent. ABS housing finance data released on 13 March 1996 shows

that there is some revival in housing demand which should flow through into higher levels o f activity, some time late in the June quarter. These data provide optimism for a recovery in housing, albeit soft, in the September quarter this year.

The Preliminary Commencement figures for the December quarter combined with the latest ABS housing data, should see housing commencements for 1995-96 come in at below the official forecast o f 124,000 units to 120,000 units or slightly below, the second lowest level o f activity recorded over the last ten years.

For further information contact: Wilhelm Harnisch BH: (06) 249 1433 AH: (06) 288 9650

Master Builders

Australia Incorporated A.R.B.N. 008 383 453 Incorporated in

South Australia with

limited liability.