Construction still lags
HOPES of a quick development and construction industry revival on the Sunshine Coast have been scotched, with new figures revealing the beleaguered sector is still in a deep funk.
The latest new home approval figures show the sector is still a long way off returning to pre-global financial crisis times, forcing a rethink of recovery predictions.
As hundreds of sector workers continue to ply their trade outside the region because of a lack of work, the Urban Development Institute of Australia has revealed home approvals for the October quarter remained at about half the level of pre-GFC times.
There were 333 home approvals in that quarter compared to an average of 643 for the July 2006 to June 2008 period.
Unit approvals for the October quarter were down 29% on the July 2006-June 2008 average, with 173 approvals.
However, there were only 101 unit approvals during the July quarter compared to an average of 242 pre-GFC.
It was hoped the sector would have rebounded by now, but the UDIA is now eyeing a return to normality by late next year.
UDIA Sunshine Coast president Frazer Dean said yesterday uncertainty over the European financial crisis was hampering recovery efforts, while he once again urged Sunshine Coast council to do more to fuel economic growth.
"It's (the European crisis) keeping people in a subdued sort of mode waiting to see what the outcomes of that are," he said.
But he added: "Really, it's a local problem with the economy. The local economy is flat.
"We're just calling on council to be a lot more proactive with their economic development strategy.
"We're looking for the new council to up the budget in that department."
The UDIA's development and construction industry performance report showed there were 15,300 people employed in the sector on the Coast in the October quarter compared to 18,800 in the previous quarter.
2011 QUARTERLY HOUSING APPROVALS
January: 330; April: 319
July: 273; October: 333
Jul-06 to Jun-08 average: 643
October quarter as a percentage of the Jul-06 to Jun-08 average: 52%