From the department of I-told-you-so:
Dwelling starts nationally were steady at 150,993 during the year but that was again below the estimate of underlying demand of about 175,000 dwellings, and the statistics from NSW were dire.Wow. It means that Australia is as badly exposed to this problem as the US and UK. Now we'll see whether or not our economic fundamentals are good enough to withstand a recession.
The number of dwelling starts in the Premier State slid by 8.5 per cent to just 29,315, the fourth successive annual fall, and one that left starts 40 per cent below their level in 2003.
There were 32,952 starts in NSW and ACT combined, compared with 34,345 last year, 41,505 in 2005 and between 51,000 and 52,000 in 2002, 2003 and 2004. You have to go back to 1987 to find another year where starts were below 35,000, and that is the only other sub-55,000 year since 1966.