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  • Crispin Till

    Email Crispin Till

    Trend shows significant improvement for local construction industry

    Building is booming in TNQ with the region's residential approvals for August sitting at highs not seen for a number of years, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

    The raw ABS data has building approvals in Cairns at a more than nine year high, with local economist Pete Faulkner from Conus Consultancy saying, even when looking at the trend the numbers had improved significantly in TNQ.

    “Trend approvals increased to 107 in August after July was revised sharply higher to 103,” he said.

    “Trend residential approvals are now up 15.9 per cent year on year, the best result since March 2015.”

    The good news for TNQ's building industry comes after a series of reports by TropicNow recently that raised concerns from industry insiders about the two-speed effect in the local economy.

    The insiders are concerned that there is little residential building activity beyond major projects in Cairns' CBD and called on Cairns council to level the playing field and introduce development incentive schemes to help smaller local builders get their projects off the ground.

    In Townsville, trend approvals fell in August to 75, after July was revised slightly lower to 77, meaning trend approvals year on year are down 7.4 per cent.

    “State-wide, the recent recovery in approvals is coming largely from Greater Brisbane with the rest of Queensland still lagging well behind,” he said.

    “We can also consider the trend data for the LGAs within the Cairns SA4 region and here we see that the improvements have been seen in Cairns Regional, Cassowary Coast Regional and Tablelands Regional Council areas.”

    In the Cairns Regional Council area, which includes the Douglas Shire, approvals were up to 77 in August after July was revised higher to 76, a 30.3 per cent increase year on year.

    In the Cassowary Coast Regional Council area, where the original data saw a higher number of approvals than in any month since June 2005, the trend rose to 9 which is a 44.8 per cent increase year on year.

    On the Tablelands, trend approvals also rose to 21 after July was revised stronger; however approvals remain down 6.4 per cent.

    The full set of Conus Trends is available here.