Victorian building boom hits new record for starts in financial year
Victoria’s building boom has soared to unprecedented levels with new figures revealing construction started on a whopping 46,287 homes in the past financial year.
The data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week includes 14,200 detached homes that builders commenced in the three months to June, which is also a quarterly record.
The remarkable number equates to a third of all houses under construction around Australia.
The previous record for a financial year was set more than a decade ago at 39,249 home starts, while a quarterly record has stood since the 10,653 notched in March 2010 — after government stimulus to bolster the market following the global financial crisis.
However, the surge predates the two-week shutdown for the construction industry at the end of September.
Housing Industry Association Victorian executive director Fiona Nield said the remarkable boom appeared to have been spurred by the federal government’s HomeBuilder scheme, which offered qualifying homebuyers between $15,000 and $25,000 in grants to build a new house.
However, sales have remained strong since the program ended earlier this year and building approvals for new houses in recent months have continued at near record levels.
“At this stage it seems HomeBuilder has been particularly influential — though of course we’d love to see the trend continue,” Ms Nield said.
“And it might just be the case that some people have saved some money during Covid-19 and are potentially looking at buying a new home.”
But it’s the next data release from the ABS that has the industry’s attention, as it will capture most of Victoria’s two-week construction sector shutdown from September 20-October 4.
A three-site-a-week cap on most trades as well as an ongoing barrier to regional workers entering Melbourne meant work was continuing at a “reduced pace”.
“But hopefully we will be in a position where we will see some relaxation of this in the near future,” Ms Nield said.
Originally published as: Victorian building boom hits new record for starts in financial year