Opal tower apartment construction downturn housing industry
(Image: AAP/Dylan Coker)

While debate over future immigration levels continues to simmer, yesterday the Master Builders Association (MBA) provided a small glimpse of what the economic future might look like with lower levels of new arrivals and less demand for housing.

The MBA has overhauled its industry forecasts to take into account the impact on forward contracts of the pandemic. As with any industry group, the MBA has an incentive to catastrophise the coming contraction, but its numbers are far more grounded in reality than the usual industry propaganda pieces (such as the Minerals Council trying to claim that coal mining was a “major employer”).

Pre-pandemic, the MBA had forecast that, after a bad year in 2019, growth in the whole construction sector would tick over at around 1% a year into the mid-2020s.