In positive news for the construction sector, 2% more homes were built in the past quarter than the previous one.
The figures released today by the Housing Industry Association show marked increases in New South Wales and Western Australia, with a smaller rise in Victoria.
In NSW new housing commencements increased by 9.5%, triggered in part by changes to government incentives, which saw NSW first homebuyers receive a $15,000 government grant.
HIA economist Geordan Murray told SmartCompany the overall increase was driven by the rise in NSW.
“I would be hesitant to suggest that this growth would be continued,” Murray says.
Western Australian figures rose by 23.6% for the quarter, but Murray says this was because the state was “getting back to where it should be”.
“In April and May changes in the approvals process in Western Australia caused a bottleneck in new home commencements, causing a hold up in the June quarter,” Murray says.
The Western Australian state government implemented changes in April 2012, which affected everything from the design stage to the occupation of the building.
In the December Quarter Murray says the 5000 new home approvals to date suggest a continuing strong result for the state.
Aside from the large increases in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria (where there was a rise of 2.9%), the other states recorded drops.
Most notable was Queensland, where new home developments fell by 14.2%.