New housing figures show growth in Qld mining regions

REGIONS with a big mining or coal seam gas presence continued to dominate growth in the housing sector in August, revealing the multi-speed nature of the residential sector, a housing policy expert said on Wednesday.

Master Builders Queensland housing policy director Paul Bidwell said Mackay, Central Queensland, the Darling Downs and South-west Queensland continued to lead housing starts in the sunshine state.

"We are mindful that there is potential for some of the heat to come out of the resources industry causing a slowdown of approvals in the coming months in response to recent mine closures and layoffs.

"We must also bear in mind that building activity levels are coming off a very low base.

"There were 26,482 dwelling unit commencements in 2011-12, the lowest level of dwelling starts in more than 10 years.

Mr Bidwell said overall, the state fared much better in August, and he was optimistic about the medium term prospects for residential construction in Queensland.


Change in new housing starts - August 2011 to August 2012

Brisbane: 1636 in 2011, down 37.3% to 1025 in 2012
Gold Coast: 292 in 2011, down 28.4% to 209 in 2012
Sunshine Coast: 173 in 2011, down 31.8% to 118 in 2012
Darling Downs and south-west: 87 in 2011, up 128.7% to 199 in 2012
Wide Bay: 155 in 2011, down 21.3% to 122 in 2012
Central Queensland: 157 in 2011, up 66.9% to 262 in 2012
Mackay: 109 in 2011, up 220% to 349 in 2012
North Queensland: 177 in 2011, down 13% to 154 in 2012
Far North: 73 in 2011, up 1.4% to 74 in 2012