Housing approvals up by more than 50% in Central Qld

CENTRAL Queensland has come out on top of the state housing sector in the latest figures from Master Builders.

The July 2013 Queensland Building Approvals show CQ had a 50.5% increase in housing approvals, from 107 in June to 216 in July.

Residential properties in the area proved even stronger, with a growth of 53.6% in approvals from June to July 2013.

Overall across the state, private sector housing approvals have been up, but total overall dwelling approvals have seen a downturn.

Master Builders Central Queensland regional manager Dennis Bryant said there had been a lot of activity in Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast, which had helped the central Queensland figures.

"I think building activity has started to really pick up, that's the trend for the last few months," he said.

"It's a great result, and it's a reflection of what's going on in Rockhampton, the Capricorn Coast, Gracemere and Gladstone.

"In the past we've been overshadowed by what's been going on in Mackay and the Whitsundays."

Overall July 2013 figures were 12.7 % higher than July 2012.

Meanwhile, new figures show Gladstone's vacancy rates more than doubled in the past year.

REIQ data put local vacancy rates at 4.6%, well above the average 3% in south-east Qld.