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Housing Industry In Freefall In Wide Bay

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The number of new dwellings being approved across the Wide Bay Burnett over the past 12 months, has fallen by around seven per-cent.  

Mmonth to month the result was better, improving by around 39 per-cent.  

The Gold Coast is going backwards, losing almost 44 per-cent month to month.  

Master Builders is worried though, saying dwelling commencements for Queensland are down to just 39,000 for the past 12 months. This is the first time housing starts have dropped below 40,000 in the past five years.

The newly released data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) supports what the industry has been feeling for the last year, and Master Builders Deputy CEO, Paul Bidwell said the industry is wondering when things will turn around.

“The ABS figures paint a bleak picture at the moment, not only are commencements at a considerable low but the total dwelling approvals are also down 20 per cent for the 12 months to May,” Mr Bidwell said.

“Despite this, there are a range of recent factors that could increase economic growth.

“Things like the latest tax and interest rate cuts may influence confidence and its good news that we no longer have the spectre of negative gearing and capital gains tax changes hanging over our heads.

“There is also a small sense of hope within regional Queensland, as for the first time in a long time, all regional centres enjoyed a rise in dwelling approvals over the last month,” Mr Bidwell said.

“While we’re welcoming this dim light at the end of the tunnel, it is unfortunately somewhat offset, by some negatives at a state level. The effects of the new waste levy, the tranche of building industry payment regimes and the Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance challenges are all being felt.”

Mr Bidwell said these changes have compounded to create uncertainty and add costs to buildings and projects.

“The reality is, the housing sector is in a state of freefall but we are hopeful that economic conditions will turn around; the question just remains when we’ll see that change.

“Our message to all levels of government remains to consider the outlook for our industry when making any policy decisions.”

REGIONAL: Number new dwellings approved percentage change from May 2018 to May 2019

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