Building Approvals Signal Concern Over Labor’s Negative Gearing Policies

Posted 6 May 2019

Building Approvals Signal Concern Over Labor’s Negative Gearing Policies

The latest release of ABS building approval data for March point to a trend decline in building activity in the ACT.

Master Builders ACT CEO, Michael Hopkins, said “The ABS building approval figures show that total dwelling approvals in March increased by 4.8%, however the 7,020 dwellings approved in the year to March 2019 represents a decline of 19.9% on the same month a year ago.”

“While monthly building approval figures can be variable, the trend indicates detached house approvals are 32.1% less than the same month a year ago, and approvals for apartments and units are 43.3% less”, said Mr Hopkins.

Mr Hopkins said, “The large amount of unit and apartment projects currently under construction is expected to sustain local companies for the weeks and months ahead, however there is ongoing concern about the impact of policies announced by Federal Labor to increase capital gains tax and restrict negative gearing on building activity over the next five years.”

“Previous research commissioned by Master Builders Australia has shown that the ALP’s policies would mean that up to 900 new homes will not be built, up to 680 less full time jobs will be created and the local building industry will take a hit of approximately $250 million over the next five years,” Mr Hopkins said.

“Our industry made a contribution of $4 billion to the Territory’s economy in 2018 so Master Builders ACT does not want to see economic growth put at risk by policies that will result in less new homes being built,” he said.

“Both major parties boast of their plans for a strong economy. They must acknowledge that as the nation’s second largest industry, largest provider of full time jobs and with more than 370,000 small business, a successful building and construction industry is fundamental to achieving economic growth and higher living standards,” Mr Hopkins said.

“Labor conceived their housing policy in a booming housing market – this is no longer the case. House prices have fallen by at least 15% in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, while new dwelling approvals for the 12 months to March 2019 are 199,428, falling below 200,000 for the first time since May 2014,” Mr Hopkins said.

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