Mixed results for building industry

THE number of units being built rose by 1.8% in August this year, but not enough to offset a 3.5% fall in housing starts around the country, figures released on Thursday reveal.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics August building approval figures was welcomed by the Queensland Master Builders Association.

But MBA housing policy director Paul Bidwell said the mixed results showed the residential building industry was facing some its toughest times in recent years.

"Consumer confidence is the main issue for our industry to contend with and, fortunately, our calls to the state government for financial incentives to help stimulate building and construction activity in the long term have been heard," he said.

"We believe positive factors, such as the First Home Owner Construction Grant, low interest rates, and continued population and employment growth on the back of investment in the resources sector; will underpin demand for new dwellings across Queensland."