Highest Ever Housing Starts on Record

  • The highest level of dwelling starts (nationally) since records began was achieved in the September – December 2014 quarter.

    This a a great sign of market health for potential owner builders.

    There was a huge and historic lift in dwelling commencements with an all-time record high of 54,400 starts

    In seasonally adjusted terms, starts jumped a massive 12.5 per cent in the September quarter, with strong increases in NSW, Queensland and the ACT

    The record highs are predominantly driven by multi-unit dwellings with New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia recording their strongest ever quarters.


Interest Rates to Remain Low in 2015

Good news for Owner Builders / Residential Building

-Interest Rates to Remain Very Low in 2015

-The annual rate of inflation fell sharply during the December 2014 quarter, reinforcing the prospect of a low interest rate environment for the foreseeable future

-The headline rate of inflation dropped to 1.7 per cent during the December 2014 quarter, the lowest inflation rate since mid-2012.

-The big drop in oil prices over recent months is helping to restrain cost of living pressures. Fewer price pressures in the economy mean that a policy of very low interest rates is both justified and necessary. This is against the backdrop of below trend economic growth and unemployment persistently above 6 per cent.

Source : HIA


NSW Home Building Remains Strong

NSW home building remains Strong

Positive news for Owner Builders.

In a record November national result, total seasonally adjusted residential building approvals in NSW fell in November 2014.

Despite a very modest decline in approvals in the month of November, the overall level of activity in NSW remains very healthy and points to a good start to 2015 for the residential construction industry.


Major changes from 1 March 2015 – Contracts for owner builders

Major changes from 1 March 2015 – Contracts for owner builders

  • The threshold is being raised for the more detailed contract requirements from $5,000 to $20,000. Owner builder  work under $20,000 will still need a written ‘minor works’ contract.
  • A cap on deposits for work over $20,000 will be increased from 5% to 10%. Builders will only be able to request a maximum of 10% for a deposit for all projects, regardless of the value.
  • Contracts over $20,000 will need a progress payment schedule (only authorised payments are allowed) and a termination clause.
  • The mandatory consumer building guide, to be provided to owner builders before entering a contract, is being streamlined to provide essential information on both parties’ rights and responsibilities.


New Owner-builder laws – January 15 , 2015

New Owner-builder laws – January 15 , 2015

  • Owner-builders will be required to name all other owners of the land on an application for an owner-builder permit. This will be recorded on the permit to prevent people using this system to carry out commercial unlicensed building work. Any owners named cannot apply for another owner-builder permit for a different property for 5 years.
  • Owner-builders will be prohibited from getting a permit for a dual occupancy except in special circumstances.
  • Owner-builders will not be able to get statutory insurance although contractors working for the owner-builder will still need to provide certificates for work over $20,000. If the property is sold within the warranty period, the contract for sale must clearly state that there is no statutory insurance on the property.
  • The threshold for requiring an owner-builder permit has increased to work valued over $10,000. All owner-builders must provide evidence of having done basic work health and safety training, and for work over $20,000 they will need to do an owner-builder course.


WorkCover warns residents of asbestos dangers after bushfires


NSW is currently experiencing one of the worst fire seasons in 10 years which has damaged or destroyed properties across the State.

In response, WorkCover NSW is waiving the five-day asbestos removal work notification timeframe to allow immediate clean-up of asbestos debris.

WorkCover NSW Work Health and Safety Division General Manager John Watson said under usual circumstances, the legislation requires a five-day waiting period before asbestos is removed.
“This five-day timeframe allows for WorkCover to review the adequacy of safety systems and site arrangements”, Mr Watson said.

However WorkCover is fast-tracking assessments to ensure fire damaged asbestos can be removed as soon as possible.

“Residents are being urged to seek out information on the potential risks of being exposed to asbestos and how to safely manage asbestos when cleaning up after the fire”, he said.

“As fire-fighters and other emergency services workers assess the damage, and residents begin to repair or rebuild, we want to make people aware of the danger of asbestos”.

“We must ensure that all sections of the community are aware of the dangers of asbestos and that asbestos debris is safely managed and the health of the community is protected”.

“Residents should be aware that fire-affected homes may contain fire damaged asbestos materials which need to be safely removed”.

Before tackling the cleanup of fire affected properties people need to consider the following:

1.       Avoid disturbing asbestos materials and keep any asbestos debris wet until it can be safely removed.

2.       The Asbestos Awareness website www.asbestosawareness.com.au has information on the types of the asbestos materials commonly found in homes.

3.       Be aware of asbestos materials in your surroundings. A person conducting demolition of residential premises must ensure that all asbestos that this likely to be disturbed by the demolition is identified and safely removed.

4.       Notify WorkCover of any emergency demolition work involving asbestos before the work is commenced.

5.       Use only a qualified asbestos removalist licensed by WorkCover to ensure asbestos is safely and properly removed.

6.       Fire damaged asbestos materials can only be cleaned up by holders of a Class A asbestos removal licence.

7.       Air monitoring, clearance inspections must be carried out by an asbestos assessor licensed by WorkCover.

8.       Asbestos removal licence holders can be found on the WorkCover website or by contacting WorkCover on 13 10 50.

9.       All fire damaged asbestos material to be removed needs to be notified to WorkCover by the removalist.  The 5-day notification timeframe will be waived for premises affected by fire.


For more information on safely managing asbestos, contact WorkCover on 13 10 50 or visit www.workcover.nsw.gov.au



Building Approvals drop back in August – but higher than 2012

Building approvals dropped back again in August 2013 although building approvals in 2013 are running at higher levels overall than in 2012.

Building approvals are continuing to trend higher in New South Wales but supply side constraints look like holding back the market for the short term at least.

In August 2013, total seasonally adjusted building approvals increased by 10.6 per cent in New South Wales.


More Good News for NSW Residential Construction

So far a range of indicators have shown positive forecasts towards a stronger NSW residential construction sector.

In the first six months of 2013:

– land sales up in 11 of 14 NSW Regions

– Building Approvals UP 8%

– Construction Loans UP 7%

– Lending for new residential investment property UP 21%.

So far leading industry and economic projections show real growth in NSW construction.This is great news for NSW owner builders.



Electronic Housing Code Project

The Electronic Housing Code (EHC) project is focused on the development of an online system for the electronic lodgement of complying development applications under the NSW Housing Code for lots 200m2and above. This system will also allow the user to determine if they are able to proceed with their development without further approvals, as an exempt development.

The Electronic Housing Code has been built primarily for local industry professionals, such as project home builders, planners, developers and architects. However it is also able to be used by the local community within the participating local government areas.

This system, launched by the Minister for Planning & Infrastructure on the 28th October 2011, is currently operational in 32 local government areas – Armidale Dumaresq, Ballina, Bankstown, Blacktown, Camden, Campbelltown, City of Ryde, Coffs Harbour, Kogarah, Ku-Ring-Gai, Lake Macquarie, Lismore, Maitland, Mid-Western, Penrith, Pittwater, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Randwick, Rockdale, Shellharbour, Sutherland, Tamworth, The Hills, Tweed Shire, Wagga Wagga, Warringah, Waverley, Willoughby, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly, Wollongong and Wyong Councils. A further 3 Councils are expected to be in operation on the system shortly.

Click here for more info. :  http://www.ehc.nsw.gov.au/


Housing picks up where mining leaves off

According to one leading economist, the housing market is set to take over from mining as Australia’s primary economic driver.

In his latest release of the CommSec Economic Insights report, chief economist Craig James says real estate is poised to lead the fiscal way.

“The housing sector is the sector most likely to take the baton from mining and drive the economy forward over the coming year,” he says.

“Home prices are lifting at the fastest annual rate in more than two and a half years with prices at the top end of the market now rallying and Sydney home prices at record highs.”

The report goes on to say populations are rising in capital cities but new home construction isn’t keeping up, which is resulting in generally tighter vacancy rates.

“New construction will need to respond to the demands of owner-occupiers, while investors will be enticed to shift funds from cash into property ownership.”

The report sights RP Data-Rismark analysis which shows capital city home prices rose by 1.6 per cent in July with house prices up 1.7 per cent and apartment prices up 0.6 per cent.

Home prices are higher now than they were a year ago in seven of the eight capital cities with Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra all up by more than four per cent.

“Housing has more significant multiplier effects across the Australian economy than the mining sector, so stronger construction and purchase activity will be important in providing fresh momentum to economic growth.

“With the cash rate poised to fall to 2.5 per cent and with returns on investment properties currently running at a 9.4 per cent annual rate, more budding investors are likely to be enticed to shift funds from cash into residential property,” James says.

Source: Australian Property Investor August 2013