CQ leads in new home approvals

CENTRAL Queensland was the only region in the state to record a positive result in new home approvals for the 12 month period to the end of January.

The region was up 22 per cent on the back of 461 approvals for the year compared with 378 for the previous 12 month period.

However, Master Builders Dennis Bryant said while the 12 month numbers were okay, the start of the year had been disappointing with 23 approvals for January down from 33 for December.

Across the regions the annual figures were bleak with major downturns in Brisbane where approvals were 16,592, down 26 per cent from the previous 12 month period and Gold Coast down 41 per cent to 4855 for the year.

Mr Bryant said the decline was in line with other areas of the state

“The raw figures for year are good but the last couple of months have not been as brilliant as we’d like them to be, but that’s in keeping with all other regions,” he said.

“But we have everybody fairly busy at the moment doing renovations and maintenance work but the biggest challenge we have right now is finding skilled tradesmen, carpenters, electricians plasters etc.”

CQ recorded the only increase for the 12 month period.
CQ recorded the only increase for the 12 month period.

Master Builders Deputy CEO, Paul Bidwell, said now was a crucial time for the federal and Queensland Governments to focus on stimulus and relief measures for an industry that is most certainly on its knees.

“2020 was always going to be a tough year, with low building approvals, tightening financial requirements, and lack of investor confidence. But now we throw the impact of COVID-19 into the mix, and it really is time for governments to act,” Mr Bidwell said.

“When it comes to COVID-19, we’re yet to see the true impact this will have on the building supply chain, our available workforces and the overall demand for building work, but it’s definitely starting to bite.

“This is of significant concern for our industry, especially the small family businesses that are responsible for half the turnover in our industry and cannot sustain prolonged periods of little or no activity.

“Over the next nine months, there are some key opportunities for governments to provide support, starting with another wave of relief in the wake of the economic implications of COVID-19.

“We are urging governments to not just support businesses through this period with initiatives like apprentice support and instant asset write-offs; it’s imperative they also take steps to increase building work. We should look to the GFC and programs like the Building the Education Revolution for inspiration.

“With the Queensland Budget to be handed down in April, we’re urging the Treasurer to return the boost to the First Home Owner’s Grant in regional Queensland and commit to increasing capital expenditure on public buildings.

“Both the federal and Queensland Government should also consider increasing the First Home Owners’ Grant from $15,000 to $40,000, which was done effectively during the GFC; and expanding the number of First Home Loan Deposit Scheme loans on offer and ringfencing this funding for new construction.

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