11.6% decrease in dwelling commitments damns government

Latest ABS statistics reveal that Western Australia has had the biggest monthly drop in people seeking to buy or construct a house in almost a decade.

The 11.6 per cent drop in the number of financial dwelling commitments from January to February 2008 shows the diminishing confidence West Australians have in entering the housing market.

Shadow Housing and Works Minister John McGrath said confidence in the market for people wanting to construct a new home or purchase an existing dwelling, either to live in or as an investment, had waned dramatically and was the worst in the country.

“The Carpenter Government has presided over a crisis in the state’s housing affordability and the figures show the dream of home ownership is becoming a nightmare for West Australians,” Mr McGrath said.

“You have to go back to July 1998 (down 14.3%) during the Asian Economic Crisis to find a bigger decline in financial commitments to housing in WA.”

Mr McGrath said comparison with Queensland (down 4.2%), the booming state most often compared with WA, and NSW (down 3.9%), the biggest state in the nation, was damning of the Carpenter Government’s housing strategies.

“This government has consistently failed to provide solutions to the housing affordability crisis and this will continue to be exposed in future as figures like this are released and rents increase,” he said.

“As the number of new dwellings constructed decreases and more people migrate to WA to take part in the boom, demand will outstrip supply and continue to force rents up.

“Under a Buswell Government, the Liberals would provide incentives for people constructing rental houses to alleviate the rental crisis.

“This would stimulate the market but there is no sign of any solutions from the Carpenter Government.”

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