SLUMP: Building approvals for housing has dipped since mid-year.
SLUMP: Building approvals for housing has dipped since mid-year. Bev Lacey

'Further out of reach': Slump in new housing approvals

DESPITE strong numbers in housing sales in suburbs like Kirkwood, Gladstone is facing a dip in building approvals for new properties.

According to statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there has been only one property approved from July to September this year.

That's despite six properties being approved in June of this year, and during the 2017-2018 fiscal year, a total of 84 properties have been approved.

Master Builders deputy CEO Paul Bidwell said the removal of the $5,000 boost to the first home owners was detrimental to their industry.

"The boost was a vital tool for first home buyers to get a foot in the door of the housing market," Mr Bidwell said.

"Without it, home ownership has been put even further out of reach."

While Master Builders want the boost reinstated, Ray White Gladstone director Andrew Allen has a different perspective.

He said the downturn was expected, but new home buyers are now moving towards established homes.

"For the Gladstone region, we haven't seen a lot of building activity over recent years," Mr Allen said.

"The reduction of the grant has certainly not affected housing approvals."

He would like the first home buyer's grant extended to other first home buyers rather than being exclusive for properties to be built.

"What we love to see, from the real estate industry, is that grant be extended to established homes to try to help first home buyers, not only in to brand new housing, but into established homes as well," Mr Allen said.



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