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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Construction >> Residential building - New houses

The general cyclical pattern of new house commencements is illustrated by graph 20.8. Lows were recorded in 1990 and 1996, with peaks in 1994 and 1998. New house construction grew throughout 1992, 1993 and 1994, the number of commencements peaking in the June quarter 1994. New house commencements fell in each quarter of 1994-95 and 1995-96, but grew in each quarter of 1996-97. There was continued growth in the trend up to the June quarter 1998, although the rate of growth in the trend eased in the first half of 1998.

The New Tax System introduced a shock to the system that altered this general cyclical pattern. After a slight contraction in the second half of 1998, the number of new house commencements grew at record rates in 1999 and early 2000 as a result of the rush to 'beat the Goods and Services Tax (GST)'. From July 2000, there was a significant downturn in commencements, with completions falling at a slightly slower rate. In the period from June to December 2001, the effect of lower interest rates and the FHOG on the market has seen an acceleration in the trend estimates of house commencements.

Graph 20.8 also illustrates the relationship between new house commencements and completions. Generally, in periods of downturn in new house construction activity, completions exceed commencements, while in periods of growth this pattern is reversed.

20.8 NEW HOUSES COMMENCED AND COMPLETED: Trend estimates
Graph - 20.8   NEW HOUSES COMMENCED AND COMPLETED: Trend estimates



New house commencements are the major component of residential building activity, as shown in table 20.9. In 2001 new houses accounted for approximately 70% of new residential dwelling units commenced (i.e. excluding approvals for conversions). This proportion is similar for approvals and completions.

Table 20.9 also identifies that residential building activity is dominated by the private sector. In 2001 this sector accounted for around 98% of approvals, commencements and completions of new houses. The public sector was slightly more significant in 'new other residential building' work, accounting for at least 5% of approvals, commencements and completions.


20.9 RESIDENTIAL BUILDING - 2001

New houses
New other residential dwelling units
Conversions etc.

Private sector
Approved
102,542
40,492
1,638
Commenced
93,265
40,433
2,156
Completed
84,888
33,998
2,672
Public sector
Approved
1,518
2,509
103
Commenced
1,427
2,433
182
Completed
1,243
2,501
36
Total
Approved
104,060
43,001
1,741
Commenced
94,693
42,867
2,338
Completed
86,131
36,499
2,708

Source: Building Activity, Australia (8752.0); Building Approvals, Australia (8731.0).


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