CQ building approvals increase in past quarter

BUILDING approvals have recorded widespread improvement across many regions of Queensland for the first time since the GFC, according to regional building approvals released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week.

The figures for May are particularly good news for resource-based regions, with central Queensland and Mackay recording positive growth of 28% and 55% respectively over the quarter.

The figures indicate that these regions may have reached the bottom of the cycle with a turn-around in the housing sector on the horizon.

The Sunshine Coast, Darling Downs and Wide Bay again experienced solid growth on the back of good results last month.

Master Builders deputy executive director Paul Bidwell said that while the growth in resource regions was welcomed, it came from a very low base and both regions have a long way to go before returning to pre-GFC building activity levels.

"While the quarterly figures tell a positive story, when you compare the yearly figures, both regions remain down - central Queensland by 51% and Mackay by 61%," Mr Bidwell said.

The large drop in quarterly approvals on the Gold Coast is due to fluctuations caused by significant Commonwealth Games approvals.

"While the building activity associated with the games is skewing the numbers, it is certainly not an indication of a slowdown - it's all systems go for the Gold Coast."

Total dwellings approved for construction in Queensland increased by almost four per cent over the month (seasonally adjusted).

"With one month still to go, the year-to-date figures put us on track to reach our ambitious forecast for the financial year of 13% growth and 40,000 dwelling commencements."

Central Queensland approvals:

This quarter: 162

Previous quarter: 127

This 12 months: 832

Previous 12 months: 1688