Australian housing construction has collapsed


The latest data on Australia’s housing construction has been an unmitigated disaster.

Dwelling approvals, commencements, and completions have each collapsed to decade-lows at the same time as Australia’s population is surging:

Housing supply and demand

New home sales have collapsed, alongside approvals:

New home sales

And loans for the purchase or construction of new homes are tracking at historical lows:

Loans for the purchase or construction of new homes

New forecasts from the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) warn that only 79,000 new homes will be finished in 2026 across the combined capital cities, a drop of 26% compared with last year.

UDIA completions forecast

“If Australia is facing a housing crisis now, then what it might be facing in a years’ time may need a stronger adjective”, Colin Keane from UDIA said.

“Once again, governments fail to see the urgency in ensuring adequate levels of active supply and associated development capacity”.


Westpac chief economist Luci Ellis also refuted the notion that planning constraints are to blame for the decline in home building.

“There are a range of issues in the production and cost of production of housing at the moment, including the [demand] from other parts of the construction sector”, she said.

Whereas Barrenjoey chief economist, Jo Masters, labelled the Albanese government’s 1.2 million homes target “aspirational”, noting that “we’ve never been able to build that many homes”.


Clearly, the only realistic solution to Australia’s housing crisis is to slow net overseas migration to a level that is below the nation’s ability to build homes and infrastructure.

Historical NOM

Otherwise, the housing crisis will continue to get worse.


Every Australian should question why the Albanese government is importing record numbers of people into Australia without a plan to house them or provide infrastructure to them?

Because, Labor’s reckless immigration policy is literally driving Australians into rental stress, forcing them to live in group housing, or forcing them to become homeless.

It is an inequality disaster in the making.

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.