Stronger building approvals may be short-lived

12 April 2019

BUILDING industry finally gets some good news, with February figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing a bounce in the number of home owners receiving dwelling finance (up 1.7 per cent) and in dwellings approved (up 3.4 per cent).

It was a welcome change after the large drop in approvals in the previous months, with dwelling approvals down by almost 15 per cent over the 12 months to February. Master Builders Deputy CEO, Paul Bidwell, says it’s hopefully a sign of improved things to come.

“The underpinnings of demand are good, with population and jobs growth both fairly strong,” Mr Bidwell said.

“There is reason to be confident; but it is just one month’s results and there’s no certainty that the coming months will be positive, especially in regional Queensland.

“Each of the regions are down on where they were a year ago, with the exception of Mackay & Whitsunday.

“So, as we head towards the new financial year, we are urging the Government to do more to ensure that the building and construction industry can continue its role as the cornerstone of the Queensland economy.

“This includes helping the industry to continue delivering the housing that Queenslanders need. We can do this by reinstating the Boost to the First Home Owners’ Grant in regional Queensland.

“We’re also asking for continued investment in public buildings and engineering construction. This represents an investment in the future prosperity of our state and is essential if we are to meet the needs of a growing population spread across our large state.

“Ahead of the upcoming election, government must also consider the uncertainty and dramatic change our industry is going through before making any further policy decisions that impact building and construction businesses in Queensland. Now is not the time for any level of government to be introducing changes that will increase the cost of doing business.”

February 2019 building approvals


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