Claudia Baxter

Home building industry 'is still struggling'

DESPITE a small 0.6% of growth in the nation's economy in the June quarter, the home building industry is still struggling, a senior economist with the Housing Industry Association said on Wednesday.

The HIA's Shane Garrett spoke after the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the latest quarterly gross domestic product data, showing below trend growth of 0.6%.

He said while economic output was up 2.6% on the same period last year, new home building fell 2.1% during the June quarter.

"This means that the volume of new home building is down by 8.5% over the last 12 months from already low levels," he said.

"More encouragingly, home renovations activity was up by 1.9% in the second quarter of 2013.

"However, activity in this segment of the market is still lower than it was twelve months ago."

While the Reserve Bank made no change to interest rates on Tuesday, Mr Garrett again urged the bank to consider lowering the cash rate.


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