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IPC releases its first quarterly housing prospects report

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Secretariat: Department of Housing and Regional Development GPO Box 9834 Canberra ACT 2601

6 February 1995


Chairman: Chris Caton Secretary: Dorothy Hume

Telephone: (06) 289 2325 Facsimile: (06) 289 2113

The Indicative Planning Council for the_Housing Industry's (IPC) inaugural Housing Prospects Quarterly report was released today by the IPC Chairman, Dr Chris Caton.

The report contains an assessment of developments in the housing industry since the IPC's Annual report was released in October 1994.

"Recent falls in finance approvals for the construction and purchase of new dwellings and local government building approvals suggest a decline in new dwelling activity will occur during the 1995 calendar year", said Dr Caton.

Although the peak in housing activity has been reached, Housing Prospects Quarterly shows that the strength of the latest upturn has exceeded the IPC forecasts for the first half of 1994­ 95.

The IPC has not, however, revised its forecasts of dwelling commencements for 160,000 in 1994-95 and 135,000 in 1995-96, which were released in October 1994. These forecasts will be reviewed in the light of further developments when the IPC meets in April 1995.

The current downturn in building approvals and housing finance comes as no surprise to analysts of the housing industry.

"The IPC warned of an inevitable downturn in the level of new dwelling activity during 1994­ 95 as a result of high levels of activity during 1992-93 and 1993-94 that satisfied previous pent-up demand. The lowered migration gains to Australia over the last few years have contributed to lower underlying demand," said Dr Caton.

Housing Prospects Quarterly notes that the recent decline in the forward indicators of activity - housing finance and building approvals - may have been accentuated by the increases in the level of housing interest rates since August 1994.

For further information:

Chris Caton, Chairman IPC, (02) 259 3520 Dorothy Hume, Secretary IPC, (06) 289 2325.