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Building Construction

Housing and rental inflation continues to spark concern

Master Builders Australia 2 mins read

10 January 2024

Today’s monthly consumer price index figures from the ABS confirm housing and rental inflation trends are out of step with the rest of the economy, said Master Builders Australia Deputy CEO Shaun Schmitke.

“Australia’s annual inflation rate dropped to +4.3 per cent during November, the lowest since the start of 2022.

“Across most categories of goods and services, there was a reduction in inflationary pressures with the exception of rents, where annual inflation accelerated to 7.1 per cent in November compared with 6.6 per cent in October.

“New dwelling costs have also intensified, having risen by 5.5 per cent over the past year.

“A lack of enough new housing supply continues to impede our battle against inflation.

“Inflation is a productivity killer. There is clearly a need for renewed urgency to tackle high costs and labour shortages in the building and construction industry.

“Master Builders strongly opposes the 'Closing Loopholes' workplace reforms impacting independent contractors.

“Complicating contractor engagement and making it harder for trades to move between projects ultimately drives up construction costs,” Mr Schmitke said.

In more positive news, the ABS also released engineering and construction activity for the September 2023 quarter which racked up its sixth consequence quarter of growth.

Mr Schmitke added: “the total volume of work done was up by 1.9 per cent compared with the previous quarter and is now 14.3 per cent higher than a year earlier.

“Public sector projects continue to be the major driver of activity.

“During the September 2023 quarter, the volume of construction activity done for the public sector surged by 5.0 per cent.

“However, there was a slight reduction in private sector work (-0.6 per cent) over the same period.

“With our economy facing such a formidable productivity challenge, the steady accumulation of more public infrastructure will eventually lead to productivity improvements,” Mr Schmitke said.

Media contact: Dee Zegarac, National Director, Media & Public Affairs

0400 493 071 | dee.zegarac@masterbuilders.com.au

 

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