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Building figures heading up after a hammering year in 2012

Builder Adrian Price on the building site of one of his homes currently under construction. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Builder Adrian Price on the building site of one of his homes currently under construction. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

PRICE Homes building manager Adrian Price said 2012 was a great year for building, and he expects 2013 will be even better.

His forecast ties in with that of Masters Builders' Association housing policy director Paul Bidwell.

"In the previous year we built 148 houses," Mr Price said.

"We had a lot of out-of-state investments at the start of the year and have seen the local market start to kick in towards Christmas."

Mr Price said he noticed the local market had risen.

"There's been a huge increase in the local market," he said.

"Gracemere and Zilzie Bay are very popular areas to be building.

"I completely agree with Master Builders that 2013 will be another good year."

The home building industry has moved to instil confidence in Queenslanders to build their own homes this year, forecasting a turnaround in the industry in 2013.

Mr Bidwell said the patchy performance of the industry last year told a positive story for this year's home buyers and renovators.

He said, while dwelling unit approvals statewide fell 1.5% in November, most regions had recorded positive growth.

"Despite the drop since October 2012, the November 2012 figures are a definite improvement from the lows of November 2011," he said.

"And we remain confident that housing activity will start to turn around in most areas of the state in 2013."

In the regions, the Sunshine Coast had the biggest fall in residential building approvals in November, down 13.9% on Octoberfigures.

But they tell a different story for the Mackay, Whitsunday and Central Queensland regions, up 20.1% and 4.8% respectively.

Mr Bidwell said it was important to focus on the positives for the industry.

"These include the four interest rate cuts during 2012, reasonably strong economic fundamentals, such as employment and population growth, and the Queensland Government's First Home Owner Construction Grant, from in September 2012."

The top region for residential housing approvals in November was North Queensland, possibly showing belated recovery after cyclone Yasi, up 35% on October figures.

"All of these positive factors, combined with an industry that is crying out for work, come together to create favourable conditions for anyone considering building or renovating," Mr Bidwell said.

"You should be able to find a contractor who can begin work quickly - there shouldn't be any 18-month waiting lists, unlike four years ago.

"With such favourable conditions and, as activity levels start to improve, 2013 is definitely shaping up to be a good time to build."

Topics:  building, figures, gracemere, master builders



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