The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed the Housing Industry Association’s (HIA) latest outlook showing new home sales increased last month by nearly 78 per cent, with the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder program credited with driving that upswing.

While it will need sales figures from the next couple of months to get a more accurate picture of the impact of HomeBuilder on new homes and construction jobs, HIA said new home sales figures are highly responsive to how much consumer confidence there is in the market.

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) CEO Ross Hampton said, “The housing construction sector is the engine room for growth and jobs in Australia’s economy, including the timber industry, and HIA’s latest figures indicate there is returning confidence in building new homes and that is a relief for the regional communities who rely on processing timber products.”

“Now to increase that confidence even further all States and Territories need to put in place supportive policy to complement HomeBuilder. Some States (e.g. WA, QLD and TAS) already have measures in place, but we urge those State governments that have not yet announced complementary stimulus to support new home demand, to do so.”

“Since the start of the CoVid-19 pandemic all levels of government have been working together to beat it, and continue to do so, saving thousands of lives in the process. Now, working together they can help ensure jobs for the future, and investing in new building, including all the supply chain partners along the way, is a great way to do it.”

“Supportive stimulus measures by governments can also include direct investment in new social and affordable housing programs, and tax, stamp duty and land price relief. It’s a complex problem that needs a large and coordinated policy response to address,” Mr Hampton concluded.

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200714 Homebuilder HIA Final