A big fall in the number of new home starts in Tasmania has prompted renewed calls for government policies to stimulate the housing industry.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show new home construction in Tasmania plunged 16 per cent in the March quarter, seasonally adjusted, to 520 projects.
That is 30 per cent less than for the same period last year.
Stuart Clues from the Housing Industry Association says the state is offering almost no incentives for property investment.
"I don't think there's any area that we can say we're leading the way," he said.
Mr Clues warns a lack of property investment is lowering overall personal wealth in Tasmania.
"Particularly when you're a young person looking at making a start in the world, it means that you're in rental accommodation, and you're continuing to stay in rental accommodation, which causes a lot of social problems down the line," he said.
"There's a lot of people that should be getting into their first home that are making the decision not to." Recession claims The Opposition claims Tasmania's building industry is in recession.
Opposition Leader Will Hodgman has told Parliament the number of new home starts has declined for the past nine quarters.
"A building recession by any measure," he said.
He said Tasmania was the only state not stimulating the building industry.
The Economic Development Minister David O'Byrne disagreed.
Mr O'Byrne said the Government was fostering private sector investment which had been growing for the past seven quarters.
The Minister had help from his Greens Cabinet colleague, Cassy O'Connor, who told Parliament there had been 1,400 new social housing starts since January 2009.
Yesterday the Opposition's Jeremy Rockliff called on the Government to cut stamp duty and double the first home builders grant to $14,000.
"They are welcome to our ideas, so that we can stimulate demand in what is a critical sector." Building approvals increased in the quarter, hinting at construction recovery later in the year.