Master Builders (Qld) deputy executive director Paul Bidwell and Sunshine Coast regional manager Michael Hopkins at Maroochy Surf Club for the quarterly industry update.
Master Builders (Qld) deputy executive director Paul Bidwell and Sunshine Coast regional manager Michael Hopkins at Maroochy Surf Club for the quarterly industry update. Erle Levey

Hear what builders are saying about new home grant decision

BUILDERS are saying Rockhampton Regional Council's recent decision to introduce a new home builder's grant couldn't come sooner as Australian Bureau of Statistics Data reveals "free-falling” building approvals.

The $5000 grant will be available to all current residents building a new home and could be the "kick-start” the Rockhampton housing market needs to turn a corner.

Master Builders deputy chief executive Paul Bidwell says Master Builders supports the incentive as he described the "grim reality” of current housing approval figures.

"Building approvals in Queensland remain in free fall, with the latest figures unfortunately not changing the grim story,” Mr Bidwell said.

Housing and money
JUMP FOR JOY: A Rockhampton Regional Council grant will be made available to current residents who are building their new home. Tom Huntley

"Building approvals for June 2019 plunged by 24 per cent for the 12 month period, from 43,515 (approvals) to 33,053.

"Last month also saw most of regional Queensland suffer a loss over the 12 months, with Central Queensland suffering a 33.6 per cent drop which has seen the local industry at its knees.”

He said council's decision to implement the incentives was setting a precedented for a housing boost and implored other regional councils to take a leaf out of Rockhampton's book. "Rockhampton is leading the charge in providing local residents with the opportunity to build a new home,” Mr Bidwell said.

"We know that $5000 can often be the difference, particularly for first home buyers, between building a new home or not.

"We're calling on other regional councils to consider the same and offer new home building incentives to their residents.”

Master Builders called on the Queensland Government to reintroduce $5000 first home owners grants to regional Queensland and hoped RRC's incentives would prove to be a litmus test for the state.

"Unfortunately, we weren't successful in having the boost reinstated as part of the recent budget, but it's not too late for the Queensland Government to change its mind,” he said.

"Rockhampton's decision to introduce the incentive locally will be a great opportunity to test the waters for how successful the incentive is in creating demand and providing a foot in the door for new home owners.

"If successful, we'll definitely urge the Queensland Government to bring back the boost across regional Queensland.”