The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has double-downed on its call for an urgent housing stimulus package with the latest Housing Industry Association (HIA) forecasting, released today, showing a devastating decline in new housing construction.

HIA’s new report National and State Outlooks says, “New forecasts released today say new home building will fall by almost 50 per cent, putting half a million jobs at risk over the next year. If this transpires, the commencement of new homes will have fallen nearly 43 per cent from last year, to next.”

HIA’s dire new forecasts back Australia’s timber processing industry’s early forecasts of a major drop in associated timber demand, with some regionally based mills already reducing production and cutting staff.

“The housing construction sector is the engine room for growth and jobs in Australia’s economy, with more than one million Australians working across multiple industries, and the timber processing sector is the ‘canary in the coal mine’ signalling early changes in demand,” said AFPA CEO Ross Hampton.

“Australia’s timber industries supply most of the renewable timber products for new houses built in Australia and a substantial portion of multi-unit and commercial construction, and we are deeply concerned that all the signs show this is facing a drop in demand, off a big cliff.”

“Timber processing companies are already feeling the impact of the slowdown in construction, as are companies right along the supply chain. We estimate sawn timber demand will drop by at least 50 per cent over the next six months and these dire forecasts are being backed up again by HIA’s latest figures.”

“This is why AFPA, and a range of other industry bodies, are asking the Government to announce an urgent and comprehensive stimulus package for new homes and upgrades and renovations,” Mr Hampton concluded.

The original media release is here: Media Release – FOREST INDUSTRIES CLARION CALL FOR HOUSING STIMULUS NOW BACKED BY HIA’S DEVASTATING LATEST DATA