New high for the value of residential construction

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Australia’s residential construction industry has pushed past another record mark, with the value of work hitting a new high in the 12 months to December 2015.

According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, residential construction work in the year to December was valued at $62.3 billion, an 11.7% increase on the value of work completed during the previous 12 months.

The figures have been welcomed by Glen Byres, chief of policy and housing for the Property Council of Australia (PCA) who said it was a positive that construction work is spread evenly across Australia.

“Residential construction continues to surge and is delivering economic growth, jobs and investment,” Byres said.

“All states and territories bar the ACT recorded significant increases in the past 12 months to December 2015,” he said.

Source: ABS/PCA

The December 2015 quarter was especially strong for the industry, which Byres said is necessary as the national economy continues to evolve post mining boom.

“There was good growth in the December quarter, with the value of residential construction increasing 2.8% to more than $16 billion.

“The new data re-affirms the crucial role housing construction plays in our economy, particularly during the transitional phase underway.”

For the PCA and Byres, the fact that the housing industry is currently proving to be so economically lucrative is another reason for policy makers to refrain from making drastic changes to the current tax arrangements for housing.

“It also underlines that we can’t afford risky interventions in housing markets through changes to negative gearing, which helps 1.2 million Australians invest in property and build prosperity.

“We can’t afford to tinker with investment in housing markets given the jobs, activity and economic growth that home construction generates through the economy.”

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