Construction activity has been mixed across Australia over the past few months, as the number of projects has fallen despite a rise in their overall value. The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows that in seasonal terms, the value of construction projects has varied across the nation.
The value of building work
During the 12 months to June 30, the ABS revealed that there was a 10.6 per cent increase in the value of new residential construction work. This was mainly spurred by activity in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.
This figure was slightly affected by the 3 per cent fall in value registered during the three months to June. It's important that this trend is reversed moving forward, explained the Property Council of Australia, otherwise it could have ramifications for the entire economy.
"States such as Queensland and South Australia posted declines in the value of work done in the June quarter of 10.2 per cent and 16.2 respectively which needs to be monitored over the forward updates," noted Executive Director Nick Proud.
He urged state governments to focus on ensuring that sufficient amounts of land are released for residential projects, while also acting to reduce high levels of taxation. Stamp duty is one area that the Property Council is especially keen to see addressed in the near future.
Taxation in the spotlight
The Real Estate Institute of Australia is also among the groups calling for the abolition of stamp duty. Instead, the organisation's President David Airey indicated that a modest land tax could be gradually introduced in its place over a 20-year period.
"The benefit to home buyers will be to end 'bill shock' when they transact and it will lower people's mortgages, while government will benefit from the stability of predictable revenue from taxes," suggested Mr Airey.
This also has the potential to help ensure people can afford property, rather than being priced out of the market at a time when values are rising across much of the country. One of the core concerns is that stamp duty deters people from moving – an activity that is crucial to the future success of the construction and real estate industries.
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