Housing crisis: Building approvals must be converted
As the State Government gathers stakeholders for housing summit to tackle Tasmania's home shortage, recent ABS data shows building approvals have picked up.
Last financial year there were more than 2,200 approvals, with that number now likely to be exceeded by a few hundred by the end of June.
Economist Saul Eslake was at a loss to explain why the increased approvals were not being converted into actual housing.
"For some reason, those approvals by local governments are not translating into starts on new houses and flats," he said.
"It could be that there's a shortage of skilled workers, that's the most obvious explanation but I find it quite a mystery."
Last financial year there were 2,235 approvals, with that number now likely to be exceeded by a few hundred by the end of June.
"Building approvals by councils have been rising quite strongly since the second half of 2016 which is what you would want to see given that the demand for housing is increasing," Mr Eslake said.
Masters Builder's Association chief Michael Kerschbaum still sees room for even further growth.
"Seven or eight years ago we were approving over 3,000 homes a year so we're still down from those peaks," he said.
But he has a theory as to why there may be a disparity in the figures.
"A lot of alterations and additions are clouding the actual amount of activity," he said.
"Whether that be bathroom or kitchen renovations of two to three bedroom extensions to a house.
"There's a lot of that work and commercial work still going really really well."