Canberra lake
Canberra tops HIA’s scorecard. Photo: Alexander Aarao-Ward, Unsplash
  • A Housing Industry Association report ranked the ACT as the top in the country
  • The report shows the ACT was first in terms of loans to non-first home buyers
  • 2,000 plus Homebuilder grants given so far, greater than the forecast of 500

A Housing Industry Association (HIA) Housing Scorecard, which measures the relative performance of each state and territory’s housing market, has ranked the ACT as number one.  This is a large improvement for the Capital of the nation which previously has been ranked as low as sixth place in previous reports.

The report uses several measures of performance to rank states and territories including areas such as housing finance and approvals.

The ACT was first in terms of loans to first home buyers, second to loans for investors, first for multi-unit approvals and second for approvals of alterations and additions.

“The performance by the ACT is very positive in the respect that it points to a degree of upside in the market, with a number of leading indicators being quite strong,” said HIA ACT and Southern NSW Executive Director Greg Weller.

These indicators are most likely relevant to the fact that the HomeBuilder scheme has exceeded expectations in the Territory.

Initially, Treasury estimated there would be 500 grants given in the ACT, however, this figure has turned to be greater than 2,000.

Talking to The Canberra Times,  Federal Housing Minister Michael Sukkar said this figure exceeded the Government’s “wildest expectations”.

“As far as punching above its weight, the ACT being four times higher than what treasury expected when we set up the program is a really phenomenal result,” he told The Canberra Times.

However, Mr Weller says there are still some concerns about the ACT’s performance.

“The ACT was first in the nation for loans to non-first home buyers and second for loans to investors, while it was also first for approvals for multi-unit and second for approvals of alterations and additions. This points to a longer term strength in the housing market in the capital,” he said.

“A worrying aspect remains the underperformance of detached housing, with approvals in last place, while commencements is fourth last. This is no doubt related to the stellar performance of HomeBuilder in other states, but 2020 will also likely reflect the second year running that the monthly average approvals in the Territory have fallen below 100, which is something that needs to be addressed.”

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