New dwelling starts to fall 11% in Geelong: BIS Shrapnel

A 11% dip in residential building construction is anticipated in Geelong over the next 12 months, the key regional Victorian centre hit by a spate of recent business closures and planned closures.

Researchers BIS Shrapnel forecast a 11% fall in dwelling commencements in Geelong in 2013/14 with construction of 2,333 new house and apartments to begin over this period.

This compares with 2,627 dwelling commencements over 2012/13.

This ranks Geelong as the 13th most contractionary new housing market over the next 12 months in Australia.

The drop in new dwelling commencements signals a likely contraction in the local Geelong residential building sector at a time when they may be reduced demand for new homes given recent company announcements.

Earlier this week retailer Target confirmed that 200 jobs would be cut from its Geelong headquarters.

It follows Ford Australia’s announcement last month that it would close its Geelong production plant in 2016 with the loss of around 500 jobs.

There is also uncertainty around the future of workers at Shell’s Geelong refinery. The enterprise employs around 450 people as well as contractors.

A further 500 jobs are at risk at Alcoa's unprofitable Point Henry aluminium smelter with the American-owned enterprise considering cuts worldwide. Alcoa had planned to shut the smelter down last year before receiving a $40 million bail out from the Victorian and Federal governments.

The potential loss of more than 2,00 jobs (more when contractors and affiliated employment are factored in) has been tempered by news that Geelong has been chosen as the headquarters of the new DisabilityCare agency for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which will employ around 300 people plus another 150 in the regional office.

State and federal government initiatives have also been announced to assist the Geelong economy.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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