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ABS data reveals ongoing challenges in meeting housing supply targets, says Property Council


The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data on building approvals continues to paint a grim picture of the nation’s ability to meet its ambitious housing targets, according to the Property Council of Australia.

Matthew Kandelaars, Property Council Group Executive Policy and Advocacy, said that while dwelling approvals rose in March, they are rising from a low base and remain lower than where they were 12 months ago.

“The rise in approvals, while welcome, are a drop in the ocean as we seek to address our national housing supply deficit,” Mr Kandelaars said.

The data showed that every state, except Victoria and Western Australia, saw dwelling approvals fall. The total number of dwellings approved for both standalone houses and apartments are still at historically low levels.

Although approvals for townhouses and apartments rose in March, it comes off a 12-year low in February, after falling 24.7 per cent.

Mr Kandelaars attributed the constrained supply of new homes to a dire shortage of labour, complex planning regulations, and broken tax systems that are deterring investment, particularly foreign investment.

As the government works towards a second surplus budget, the Property Council has called for investment in housing, including doubling the $3 billion performance-based New Home Bonus and the $500 million Housing Support Program to incentivise states and territories to build the homes needed.


“The government also needs to adopt a pro-construction adjustment in a smaller migration intake to ensure we have the skilled construction workers we need to build the homes we desperately require,” Mr Kandelaars said.

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