DWELLING APPROVALS: Rockhampton recorded an increase in the number of dwelling approvals in the month of October.
DWELLING APPROVALS: Rockhampton recorded an increase in the number of dwelling approvals in the month of October.

Increase in CQ building approvals reveals economic recovery

AT FIRST glance, the boost in the dwelling approvals statistics for Central Queensland might seem like fantastic news.

But as Master Builders Rockhampton regional manager Dennis Bryant explains the 62% increase in the number of dwellings (houses and units) approvals is so high because of the extremely low number the previous month.

"Coming off a low base, any increase in building approvals for a one month or three month period will look great," Mr Bryant said.

"There was a 62% increase for the month (of October) in housing and units but mostly it was housing.

"But the numbers that we had for the previous month weren't terribly exciting with 32 (dwellings approved in September)."



Mr Bryant said if you multiplied out the 52 houses for the month of October for 12 months, we would get 645 approvals for a year.

"That's way below levels that we used to do," he said.

"When you look at the fact that three to four years ago, our annual builds would have been around 1600 homes - 645 is pretty low in comparison.

"We've been down lower as you can see the previous 12 months was 580 so we're having a gradual improvement but we won't get carried away with building houses till they're coming out of our ears."

He said the annual growth rate statistic was a more reliable indicator for how the economy was tracking.

"The annual growth rate was 11% which is very encouraging," Mr Bryant said.

"I see green shoots of activity around the place but I don't have a bowling green yet."

He said there were positive signs around CQ for the future.

"I think the Adani project will certainly good for us in that people will be encouraged to move to places like Rockhampton and the (Capricorn) coast, which will give our building industry a bit of a boost and certainly reduce the rental vacancy, Mr Bryant said.

"What I am pleased about is the reports of increased sales in residential from some of the real estate agents which means that we're getting an increase in interest and enquiries and from that things are going to improve.

"Builders are reporting that they are busy, subcontractors are reporting that they are busy but a lot of their work is in the renovation area."