Housing outlook another poor reflection on Labor

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) National Outlook for the home building and renovation industry is another dismal report card on the Gillard Government’s record on housing, forecasting a housing downturn that will put further pressure on rental prices.

"Rents have already risen 16.8 per cent since December 2007, significantly above inflation, so this will be another blow for people living in rented accommodation," Senator Payne said.

"The Rudd-Gillard Government promised to ease cost of living pressures when it was elected in 2007, but since December of that year, electricity prices have gone up 34.1 per cent, gas prices by an average of 24.9 per cent and water and sewerage prices by 29 per cent.

Senator Payne said the HIA report adds to a growing number of indicators showing the housing shortage is getting worse.

"In the last week, the Master Builders Association (MBA) predicted that conditions in the residential sector will deteriorate in the next six months and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) dwelling approval figures showed building approvals were down 4.7 per cent in August and 16 per cent in New South Wales.

"The housing shortage is already forecast to be 202,400 to June 2010, according to the National Housing Supply Council, so this could increase even further if these trends continue.

"The building industry is also concerned about the impact of higher interest rates on industry activity, but Labor continues its wasteful spending, despite the likely prospect of interest rate rises in coming months.

"Labor has clearly dropped the ball on the issue of housing supply and affordability."