Property Observer – 22 July, 2014
By Jennifer Duke
The housing shortage is a much-lamented problem and BIS Shrapnel’s latest Building in Australia 2014-2029 report suggests that we may continue to feel its effects for some years.
While a record-breaking recovery in housing construction was discovered to be underway and a new high of homes being constructed is expected to be reached – many of them in apartment towers – it will not close the housing shortfall until 2018 if their forecasts are correct.
BIS Shrapnel’s associate director Kim Hawtrey said that new housing starts are forecast to reach 190,000 in 2014/2015, surpassing 187,000 seen during 1994.
”In the next two years we’ll also see the recent emphasis on highrise units continue. Currently two highrise apartments are being built for every five detached houses, which is double the historical rate of one apartment for every five houses built,” said Hawtrey.
However, strong population growth has driven pent up demand, growing at 1.7% per annum.
“Home building has been punching below its weight for about a decade, and has not kept pace with population growth for some time now,” he said.
They estimate a deficiency of 100,000 dwellings at present. This is based on household formation per thousand head of population.
”We estimate that it will take the next five years to eliminate the unmet demand for housing. We therefore do not see this housing shortfall closing until 2018,” said Hawtrey.
This is even despite an expected slowdown in population growth.
”Investors and upgraders/downsizers are driving demand in this cycle,” said Hawtrey. “First home buyers are still largely on the sidelines.”