2013 still a great year to build

QUEENSLAND building approval data shows patchy results across the state except for three regions.

Positive growth of dwelling unit approvals in January meant the Sunshine Coast had an increase of 69.8%, central Queensland went up 24% and the Gold Coast up 5.8%.

"Clearly in central Queensland the resources boom continues to drive activity," Master Builders director of Housing policy Paul Bidwell said.

"While the increase for Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast is positive, the results need to be kept in perspective as they are only for one month and coming off a very low base.

Master Builders stated the Australian Bureau of Statistics data released this week should not cause pessimism in the building and construction industry.

Mr Bidwell said the early hopes for a positive start this year after an increase in building approvals in December 2012 had not been realised with dwelling unit approvals for Queensland falling 5.8% in January compared to December.

"However, on a positive note, the total dwelling unit approvals for Queensland has risen 12% in January compared to the same month in 2012," Mr Bidwell said.

"Despite the figures we still believe 2013 is a great time to build and are pleased to see an improvement state-wide on where we were 12 months ago.

He said while numbers across the state are patchy and don't offer a clear indication of which way building activity trends are heading, Master Builders remains optimistic housing activity will improve across the state this year.

"Certainly, the results of Master Builders recent Survey of Industry Conditions report confirm this view, with confidence in the outlook for the industry improving during the December 2012 quarter," Mr Bidwell said.

"Factors such as low interest rates and unemployment figures, combined with solid population growth, are conducive to stimulating housing activity.

"The launch this month of the Great Start Grant - formerly the First Home Owners Construction Grant - and its associated media campaign is also set to boost the number of new homes being built in Queensland.

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