It will take Victoria at least three years to ramp up to the record level of construction needed to reach the state government’s lofty new home building goal.
The cornerstone of the Victorian Housing Statement released Wednesday was a plan to build 800,000 new residences in the next decade.
Housing Industry Association figures show the state has never built more than 67,589 houses and units in a single calendar year.
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To reach the new goal it would require an annual 80,000 completions, almost 12,500 above the record set in 2017.
That figure included more than 35,000 houses and 32,500 units.
Last year the state completed just 56,899 homes total — and fewer than 20,000 units.
HIA chief economist Tim Reardon said the new target was aiming as high as former US president John F Kennedy’s famous 1961 proposal to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
“It’s putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade; it’s setting a clear policy objective,” Mr Reardon said.
“This is the right strategy and now they need the policy to achieve that goal.”
It will take a significant turn around in planning, with HIA’s members indicating the average 7.6 months it currently takes to get planning approval in Victoria is the slowest in the nation.
The Victorian Housing Statement has outlined provisions to have a dedicated team to avoid projects going to VCAT, streamline projects worth more than $50m in Melbourne and $15m in regional areas, use 10 activity centres to rapidly add 60,000 higher-density homes and add 90 new planners to the department of planning.
Even with the changes, Mr Reardon said the state was years away from reaching 80,000 home builds — suggesting it would have to build even more homes in the latter years of the 10-year timeline.
“Getting that rate will take at least three years,” he said.
The time will be needed to boost workforces, efficiencies and to get homes planned — even with speedier approval processes kicking in.
Speaking at a HIA event yesterday, Planning Minister Sonya Kilkenny acknowledged a need to improve regulatory frameworks around Victoria’s home building industry.
HIA’s Victorian executive director Keith Ryan said both building quality and consumer protection laws needed to be reviewed before the state pursued its new target.
“Many recent difficulties experienced by builders and consumers have been caused by inflexible and out-of-date building regulations and home building contract legislation,” Mr Ryan said.
“HIA will continue to be actively engaged with the Victorian government and participate in the Affordability Partnership to inform and shape the work to increase housing supply and improve housing affordability.”
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