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Monday, May 27, 2024

Housing continues to lag behind demand

THE latest housing approvals show new home construction is falling well short of the homes needed to meet Queensland’s housing needs.

The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for September record a 12-month total of only 34,060 new dwellings approved.

This represents an eight per cent drop and is well short of the 48,000 homes needed each year to meet Queensland’s share of the national five-year target of 1.2 million homes – this is exacerbated by the time taken to complete construction.

According to ABS data, during 2022/23 the average time taken from commencement to completion has blown out for new houses, townhouses, and apartments.

The average time from commencement to completion for new apartments in Queensland has increased by six months to 26 months, while the average time for new houses increased by one month to eight months.

Master Builders CEO Paul Bidwell says it’s a tall order for the industry to deliver the housing targets and meet the needs of the massive construction program underway in Queensland while they continue to deal with delays and cost hikes.

“Back in 2016 we built 50,000 new homes in a year, so it can be done but looking to the future, the current pipeline of new housing is just 34,000 dwellings approved in the 12 months to September 2023 – this is well short of where we need to be,” he said.

While Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay have recorded growth in dwelling approvals over the past three months, all regions in Queensland have reported negative growth over the past 12 months.

Mr Bidwell said non-residential approvals are still lacking, moving ahead to reach an unprecedented high of $19.3 billion as the government’s massive capital works program gets underway.

“It’s housing that is languishing, while non-residential is keeping the industry buoyant with the massive government capital works program,” he said.

“This aligns with what we are hearing from our members that government and private sector commercial building is strong – the Queensland Government needs to work collaboratively with industry to ensure costs don’t rise further unnecessarily.

“We’ll be looking for support from the government in Queensland’s 2024 budget, with initiatives like stamp duty relief for new builds, payroll tax relief for builders and grants to enable building businesses to implement business improvement software and homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes.”

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Grow farm raided by police and Don’t get complacent with a natural disaster.

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