Regional building approvals for February 2017 released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier this month saw another spike in total building work approved.
The total value of work approved in Queensland increased by 89 per cent to $2.4 billion (seasonally adjusted), which is the highest monthly result since 2011. Total value of buildings approved for the 12 months to February are now 2.5 per cent up on where it was for the previous 12 months.
Master Builders deputy CEO Paul Bidwell said the results overall were positive, but somewhat mixed across regional Queensland.
“The jump in February approvals are largely attributed to spikes in Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast numbers, but Cairns is also a stand out performer amongst the regions this month,” Mr Bidwell said.
“The value of approvals for Far North Queensland were up 16.5 per cent compared to 12 months ago, with $709 million of building work added to the pipeline since then.
“Approvals for non-residential developments are up an impressive 97 per cent on the previous year and were valued at $291 million.”
Confidence amongst the building industry is also strong, with Master Builders recent Survey of Industry Conditions showing that nearly half (47 per cent) of local builders expect the building industry outlook to improve.
“When it comes to the residential sector, the majority (54 per cent) are expecting an improvement.
“We believe this confidence is well placed with the region riding high off the renewed strength in the tourism sector, with passenger numbers through both the domestic and international terminals trending up.”
The REIQ Queensland Market Monitor December Qtr 2016 is also reporting that Cairns has one of the strongest rental markets in Queensland and is in effect in undersupply with a vacancy rate of only 2.4 per cent.
Likewise, the Herron Todd White Cairns Watch for February 2017 recently positioned Cairns as a “rising market”.
“All in all, these factors all point to improving conditions and better times ahead for Cairns and the far north.”