People are again starting to buy new homes now the election is over, building supplier CSR says.
Managing director Rob Sindel says uncertainty over the election outcome had discouraged people from buying a new home despite historically low interest rates.
But that was changing as consumer confidence also improved.
“The anecdotal evidence from builders is … they’ve seen a number of contracts signed increase significantly after the election,” Mr Sindel told reporters on Wednesday.
“You’re seeing people go out and make that big decision to purchase a home … build a new home or buy a piece of land.”
CSR is hopeful the demand for new residential construction will continue to improve, even it building approval numbers are still showing only a modest improvement.
“The early indicators – finance approvals and land sales – you’re seeing those strengthen,” Mr Sindel said.
CSR raised its forecast for Australian housing starts in the year to the end of March 2014 by five per cent, to 155,000.
“Our outlook for the next few years is a lot more positive than it’s been,” Mr Sindel said.
New multi-unit developments in Sydney are expected to fuel much of that growth.
But Brisbane’s new housing market recovery would lag six months behind Sydney and Melbourne, the company said.
CSR’s net profit more than doubled to $46.1 million in the six months to September 30, up from $16 million in the previous corresponding period, mainly because of restructuring and cost savings.
When one-off financial items related to the company’s restructuring are excluded, profit was $36.2 million, up from $18.9 million in the previous corresponding period.
Earnings improved in CSR’s building products, Viridian glass, aluminium and property divisions.
A weaker Australian dollar was expected to help CSR’s aluminium sector.
The company is expecting a full year profit, before one-off items, of up to $70 million.
CSR shares gained 20 cents, or 8.3 per cent, to $2.61.