Housing construction data worsens


By Leith van Onselen

While housing finance data continues to improve, housing construction data is weakening, with the release of quarterly construction materials volumes by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Friday showing further weakness in volumes of concrete blocks, clay bricks and roof tiles – materials typically used in housing construction (see below chart).

When added to new home sales tracking at 15-year lows:


Housing approvals still below long-run averages (albeit improving):

And falling construction employment:


The Reserve Bank of Australia’s and Treasury’s goal of having housing construction fill the void left as the mining boom unwinds needs more oomph.

Twitter: Leith van Onselen. Leith is the Chief Economist of Macro Investor, Australia’s independent investment newsletter covering trades, stocks, property and yield. Click for a free 21 day trial.

About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.