The ACT is Australia's Strongest Performing Economy at Present

Posted 24 January 2019

The ACT is Australia's Strongest Performing Economy at Present

The latest forecasts for the housing market were released by Master Builders Australia today.

Master Builders ACT CEO Michael Hopkins said, "Based on a number of measures the ACT is currently the strongest performing economy in Australia."

"The ACT's unemployment rate has stabilised at just 3.7%, our population growth is accelerating at 2.2% per annum, and Canberra's house prices are currently rising faster than in any other capital city outside Hobart and Darwin", said Mr Hopkins.

Mr Hopkins said, "During 2017/18 the ACT's housing sector had boomed to produce 4,994 new dwellings, however over the three months to October, new dwelling approvals fell back by 7.8% indicating residential building activity might see some softening over the coming months."

"Engineering construction also slipped by 7.1% over the year to September 2018 due to the 'hump' of the light rail project being crossed", he said.

The forecast for the ACT is in stark contrast to the rest of Australia's housing market which is predicted to enter a challenging year ahead.

MBA Australia Chief Economist Shane Garrett said, "New home building across Australia is facing its toughest year in almost a decade with declining house prices and the fallout from the Royal Commission really starting to bite."

"About 234,000 new homes were started at the peak of the market in 2016/17. We anticipate that output will decline to 210,200 during 2018/19 overall and fall to 197,500 during 2019/20. A succession of further declines will bring new home starts down to 175,900 by 2022/23," Shane Garrett said.

"New home building was lifted to record levels in the middle of the decade by a combination of strong population growth, big house price gains, super low interest rates and keen demand from foreign buyers," he said.

"Several of the ingredients that made up this favourable mix are no longer in place. House prices have seen sizeable reductions in a number of key markets, while state governments have erected prohibitive barriers to foreign buyers," Shane Garrett said.

Mr Hopkins said, "With population a central driver of building work in sectors like housing, education, health and transport, it is important that Government policy support a strong building and construction industry."

Click here to view the report from Master Builders Australia.

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