Darling Downs looking down but not out on housing

THE Darling Downs may be in the bottom two regions in the state for new residential approvals, but Master Builders director of housing policy Paul Bidwell remained positive business would pick up.

Mr Bidwell said the November 2012 regional building approvals figures, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, highlighted the patchy performance of the building industry across Queensland, but told a positive story for home buyers and renovators.

"Naturally, the building industry would have welcomed more positive news to start the new year, but we must put these results into perspective," Mr Bidwell said.

"Despite the drop since October 2012, the November 2012 figures are a definite improvement from the lows of November 2011 and we remain confident that housing activity will start to turn around in most areas of the state in 2013."

He said consumers were still nervous about signing on the dotted line in many cases.

"We believe it is important to focus on the positives for the industry, including the four interest rate cuts during 2012, reasonably strong economic fundamentals, such as employment and population growth, and the Queensland Government's First Home Owner Construction Grant, which commenced in September 2012," Mr Bidwell said.

"All of these positive factors, combined with an industry that is crying out for work, come together to create favourable conditions for anyone considering building or renovating."

The Darling Downs had 137 new residential approvals in November 2011, and 124 in November 2012; a decrease of 9.5%.



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