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Further housing growth constrained by high unemployment



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FEDERAL M E M B E R F O R FORREST

S had ow M in ister fo r Small Business, H ousing a n d Customs.

G e o f f P ro sser M .P . M edia Release

FURTHER HOUSING GROWTH CONSTRAINED BY HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT

The increase in finance commitments for owner-occupied dwellings was encouraging for the building industry, according to the Shadow Minister for Housing, Geoff Prosser.

Figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicated that, seasonally adjusted, secured housing finance commitments for owner-occupied dwellings increased in June to just on $2 billion.

"The increase in housing finance will largely be a consequence of reductions in interest rates earlier this year, which have taken some time to flow through to the marketplace.

"It is good news for the building and construction industry, who have been feeling the worst effects of the recession."

But Mr Prosser warned that the figures must be treated with

caution.

"Growth in the housing market will remain constrained while ever there is high, and indeed, still growing unemployment.

"By the Government's own admission further job losses are inevitable, even without allowing for the effects of the 'tax on employment' announced in the Budget.

"Without any clear economic policy direction, further falls in interest rates will probably be postponed, stifling any potential for sustained recovery in housing."

ends.

22 August 1991

CONTACT! GEOFF PROSSER (06) 277 4717

KAREN KUSCHERT (06) 277 4717 (06) 286 5005 h/