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Covid-19 new home boost would restart WA’s plunging home construction

Property Council WA is urging the State Government to consider a temporary Covid-19 new home boost for newly constructed dwellings after shocking figures from the Housing Industry Forecasting Group revealed WA housing starts were expected to be the lowest in 37 years.

Property Council WA Executive Director Sandra Brewer said the Housing Industry Forecasting Group numbers, which predicted WA housing starts of 12,500 for the 2019-20 year, were at half the average level of housing starts over the past 25 years, when adjusted for population.

Supporting new WA housing construction would create a multiplier effect, with every dollar of residential construction generating $3 across the economy.

“Creating new homes, apartments and retirement living units is one of the most powerful job keepers and job multipliers across the Australian economy,” Ms Brewer said.

“We also support the State Government’s commitment to pursuing an efficient, consistent and robust planning system and we’d urge it to consider what more can be done to ensure job-creating large projects aren’t held up for years in approvals processes.”

Property Council WA in March submitted a 13-point plan to the State Government outlining a range of actions and policy responses designed to help WA maintain income, jobs and solvency during the Covid-19 pandemic and the recovery phase.

Home construction plays a pivotal role in economic recovery and the Housing Industry Forecast Group has urged all levels of government to consider the needs of the housing industry and the impact of its decisions on cash flow, jobs and activity.

Property Council WA shares Housing Industry Forecast Group concerns about the impact of reduced staffing levels on the capacity of local governments to process development approvals for home building. There’s also concern that buyers get access to finance.

“Support for efficient and timely processing of development applications is critical to allowing the industry to recover quicker,” Ms Brewer said.

“A strong WA housing market is critical to a sustained economic recovery. We’d urge the State Government to consider what more can be done. Every effort should be made to support efficient and timely approvals to allow this important job-generating sector to rebound strongly.”

Contact:  Sandra Brewer | M 0418 501 030   | E sbrewer@propertycouncil.com.au