Home building industry sees solid upsurge

By REN LANZONnewsroom@gladstoneobserver.com.au

THE HOME built by Gavin and Sue Parsonage is among the many homes reflecting the upsurge in interest in Gladstone in the $250,000 plus market.

Queensland Housing Industry Association (HIA) executive director Rick Wiley said Gladstone started the 2005 year "very positively, with a strong increase in quality building interest in January''.

He said this increase had come off a slight downturn in interest over the last quarter of 2004.

"The main interest is from those trading up rather than first home buyers,'' he said.

Mr and Mrs Parsonage first moved to Gladstone from Coff's Harbour eight years ago and have been living in rental properties ever since.

They decided to live in Sunderland Heights, off Glenlyon Road, to take advantage of the views and breezes, and because the estate is central both to the city and to shopping at Kin Kora and The Valley.

"Also, it takes me only four minutes to get to work,'' Mr Parsonage said.

It has taken several months to build the home, the first to be occupied in the estate, since buying the allotment for $95,000 last year.

Mr Wiley said many builders in Gladstone had strong work commitments for the next six months.

But he said while many builders in Gladstone were busy, there were still builders who were able to begin work within a relatively short timeframe.

"With land supply in Gladstone expecting to receive an excellent increase over the next six months, the building climate is looking very positive,'' he said.

Mr Wiley said there were still trade shortages in some areas with considerable difficulty in obtaining plasterers.

"Trade prices have also seen increases in timber prices which flows on from price increases in steel and concrete in late 2004.

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