GOLD COAST LEADS WAY DESPITE DIP IN JULY APPROVALS

GOLD COAST LEADS WAY DESPITE DIP IN JULY APPROVALS

BUILDING approvals stalled on the Gold Coast in July, but the local market remains the state’s top performer over the past year.

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal a 53.2 per cent drop in approvals in July to 330 from 705 in June.

However building approvals on the Gold Coast are up 74.3 per cent to 4595 for the latest 12-month period.

Master Builders’ Gold Coast manager John Duncalfe says the July figure is no cause for concern.

He says it reflects a conservative approach being adopted by the construction industry in the current cycle.

“It’s not as bad as some make out,” Duncalfe tells Gold Coast Business News.

“I have been in touch with a number of our members and the feedback I am getting is that most have enough on their books at present and are not overcommitting to more work as a way to manage cash flow.”

Duncalfe says the GFC has led to better business practices by builders who have heeded Master Builders’ advice on financial management.

“In the days of the boom, everyone was spending like no tomorrow – and that has dramatically changed.”

Duncalfe says despite the July drop in approvals there is still solid underlying demand for jobs and services in the construction sector.

“There are two ways to look at this,” he says.

“There will be high volume builders who will agree that their numbers have dropped, but if you speak to the smaller builders, their workload and enquiry rate is up.

“I think we need to remember that some of these projects take considerable time to construct as well.

“I have one member doing a house over $3 million and has others waiting, so that will take some 18 months.”

The Gold Coast’s 74.3 per cent growth rate in approvals is the highest in Queensland, behind the Sunshine Coast (up 68.2 per cent), and well ahead of Brisbane at 44.8 per cent.

Total approvals across Queensland for the month rose a modest 0.9 per cent to 3189, but over 12 months they are up 25.6 per cent.

The south-east corner has been driving this growth with the mining regions of central Queensland and Mackay experienced a sharp fall in approvals of 53.7 per cent and 44.1 per cent respectively over the past year.

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