THE latest housing figures show WA dwelling starts for the September 2017 quarter fell by 14.9 per cent compared with the September 2016 quarter.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures also showed WA housing finance in the November 2017 quarter increased by 2.2 per cent compared with the November 2016 quarter.
New South Wales dwelling starts for the same period also fell by 13.5 per cent and Queensland recorded a fall of 23.9 per cent.
The Northern Territory was the only state or territory to record a fall (5.5 per cent) in housing finance figures in the November 2017 quarter.
Housing Industry Association senior economist Geordan Murray said nationally the residential building market held up throughout the latter half of 2017.
Mr Murray said during the year there were some concerns about activity softening but the figures confirm 2017 finished on a solid footing.
He said despite the strong end to 2017 there was little doubt that the housing cycle has passed the peak.
But he said with strong levels of population growth, a strengthening labour market and interest rates predicted to remain at historically low levels for some time yet, 2018 could still be stronger than many analysts expect.
“New figures released today show a slight increase (0.7 per cent) in the number of (national) housing starts during the September 2017 quarter, although this was still around 3.3 per cent down from the level recorded a year earlier.
“A resurgent multi-unit sector drove the lift in starts, with activity increasing by 5.3 per cent in the September 2017 quarter.
Detached house starts declined by 3.4 per cent during the quarter but remain at relatively healthy levels.
“Looking to leading indicators of future activity, recent building approvals data and the housing finance figures released today continue to show that demand for new homes remained resilient throughout the final quarter of 2017 which implies that new home building activity should remain at relatively high levels throughout early 2018.
“The number of new loans to owner-occupiers building or purchasing new homes continued to increase in November.
Lending for new homes during November increased by 2.2 per cent on the prior month and the total number of loans during the three months to November 2017 was 12.4 per cent higher than the same time a year earlier.