Latest ABS figures confirm housing concerns

The latest figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics do little to appease the concerns of Shadow Minister for Housing and Works, Mr John McGrath, that the WA housing problem is being addressed.

Mr McGrath has responded to the ABS report for commitments to housing finance for December 2007 by renewing the Liberal Party’s calls for the Carpenter Government to implement significant policy changes that actually address the housing problems plaguing Western Australia.

The report indicated a 3 per cent decrease in commitments from lenders for housing finance for Western Australia. This figure represents a decline in the provision of commitments to finance both the construction and purchase of dwellings, essentially indicating that fewer people are seeking finance to build or buy.

“The ABS figures for December point to the precarious position that the WA housing market is in and cements the Opposition’s concerns that the Carpenter Government has failed to manage housing properly,” Mr McGrath said,

“The Government’s mismanagement has catalysed a web of problems. Buyers are being priced out of the market and forced into the rental market, this is pushing up the cost of renting, such that many can no longer afford to rent privately and end up reliant on public housing- which is itself unable to cater to this increase in demand.”

The ABS report has come amid considerable speculation about increasing interest rate rises that look likely to continue to undermine housing affordability for first-time buyers and investors.

“In these economic boom times it is unforgivable that WA is not leading the nation and generating a successful and well-managed housing industry,” Mr McGrath said,

“The Carpenter Government is blowing the boom and failing to deliver adequate and affordable housing.”

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