New figures from the Bureau of Statistics show the number of dwellings built in the three months to September 30 slumped to a seven year low.
Is this a sign of struggling times ahead for the construction industry, or is it just a minor drop before things start to climb again? It’s really hard to know. I suspect that people are going to be very cautious for a while, with so many unsure about the economy and their own job security.
But then we’ve also been told that demand for housing in Australia is high, and that it is this demand that is going to provide a solid foundation for rising property prices (or at least prevent the Aussie real estate market from following in the footsteps of England and the USA). If demand for housing is high, why is construction going backwards?
There might be a lot of people out there who would like to be homeowners, but they can only do what their finances allow them to do, and with banks being so tight with mortgages at the moment it can be pretty tough to get the finances together to buy a home.
What will this do for real estate prices in Australia? According to BIS Shrapnel, this slow down in new construction will create an undersupply in the rental market, which will push rents up and create pressure on house prices to also rise. It all sounds good in theory, but again, property prices can only go as high as people are willing and able to pay, and I reckon at the moment people are stretching about as far as they can.