Australia’s largest home building companies are raking in gains in new business and revenue as the boom in construction of new housing continues.
Unveiling its latest Housing 100 report in conjunction with Colorbond Steel at an industry breakfast in Melbourne, the Housing Industry Association said the nation’s 100 largest home builders raked in $16.669 billion worth of revenue and broke ground on 68,621 new dwellings in 2014-15, representing a jump of 12.2 per cent in revenue and the second highest level of commencements on record.
Perth-based BGC (Australia) came in at number one ahead of fellow Perth builder Alcock Neaves Group and last year’s number one, Meriton Apartments, breaking ground on 4,834 dwellings including 4,413 detached houses and 421 multi-units.
Brookfield Multiplex was the biggest mover, rising from number six in the rankings to number four on the back of a 62 per cent rise in starts to 3,553.
In terms of states, meanwhile, Western Australia and Victoria dominated the rankings with seven of the top 20 home builders each, while New South Wales has four and Queensland and South Australia one each.
Housing Industry Association chief economist Harley Dale welcomed the results, pointing out that housing starts in Australia had now risen for three consecutive financial years for only the third time since the 1950s. He added that strong home building conditions were expected to persist in coming years over the near term.
“This is a real recovery which has endured for a long time,” Dale told the conference.
“And I think the good news is that it is going to hold there in 2015/16. The volume probably not going to be as high as this year, but it’s probably going to be the second largest volume of new housing we’ve ever built in history.”
Westpac senior economist Bill Evans said the nation expects economic growth to remain at or slightly below trend for the next two years. Interest rates are expected to remain steady but the value of the dollar will likely fall further to $US0.66 by next June, he suggested.
He said the outlook for new housing remained reasonably buoyant, with the main fear being that action on the part of policy makers to restrict lending may impact upon levels of investment.
Cordell CEO Michael Hughes said the pipeline of significant dollar value project work appears to be strong, with both the number of projects at development application and development approval stage at record levels.