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Building approvals slump suggests clouds on the horizon

Building Approvals Slump

The recent debate on property taxes could constrain an already faltering property market, says Property Council of Australia.

Though ABS data shows 10.6% growth in building approvals for the year to the end of January, approvals were down 7.5% for the month of January.

The drop in approvals at the end of the year could contain a warning for political leaders.

“We have had a  record run during 2015 with housing approvals, but the first data for 2016 contains warning signs,” said the Property Council’s Chief of Policy and Housing, Glenn Byres.

The strong pipeline of projects is crucial to economic growth.

“When approvals convert to construction, we fuel jobs, prosperity, and economic growth,” said Byres.

“While record runs never go on for ever, the drop in January is large. These figures are a jolt,” he said.

“We need to be careful that it doesn’t signal the start of a sustained easing, and that’s why political leaders must avoid a risky intervention in housing markets through changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax.

“While they are yet to play out in the figures, the Opposition’s new property taxes policy, and the government’s deliberations on the same issue, are creating uncertainty,” said Byres.

Source: The Real Estate Conversation 02/03/2016

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