Coast’s building attracts billion$

Exclusive More than one billion dollars worth of building approvals were issued in the past 12 months.

The Sunshine Coast Council’s annual redevelopment indicators report showed $1.29 billion of approvals were green-lighted in the 2015-16 financial year, 11% higher than the $1.17 billion issued in 2014-15, with the value of approvals calculated by the cost of construction.

Master Builders award-winner Grant McDonald, owner of Grant McDonald Homes, said business was going along very nicely. “I’ve never been quoting as much in my life as the last three months,” he said. “It’s pretty hectic at the moment.” And it’s not just the new-build market that has been booming, with approvals at seven-year highs. The renovation and alteration approvals rose 14% in 2015-16 from the 2014-15 totals. Sunshine Coast Council planning portfolio holder Councillor Christian Dickson said, “For the second consecutive financial year, council has recorded building approvals with a value in excess of $1 billion. “Not only is this the highest value of building approvals value recorded in the past seven years, 2968 lots have been created through the plan-sealing process, making it a record high for the past five years which will stimulate further building activity in the future. “Building approval values during the last financial year included $701 million in new dwellings (up 15% compared to 2014/15), $203 million for multiple unit dwellings (up 19%) and $156 million in additions and alterations (up 14%).” Mr McDonald said he was getting close to one new inquiry per week and the renovation inquiries were also rising. He said the awards his company was winning were also helping him pick up new business. With a few bigger jobs in the pipeline, he said he might have to entertain hiring more workers if the jobs were locked in over the next five or six months. “They always say, you’re better to be looking at it (work) than looking for it,” Mr McDonald said. Cr Dickson said the results showed 2015-16 figures had increased 114% since the $607 million worth of approvals that were recorded in 2012-13. “This is a considerable increase, which is a significant boost for the region and our economy,” he said. “Steady and sustainable growth in development over the longer term has positive flow-on effects that contribute to increased economic activity across the region, including employment generation, business confidence and consumer spending.” Smith and Sons Queensland director Steven Nousala said his company’s Sunshine Coast offices had experienced an increase in renovation inquiries, reflecting the 141% increase in alteration approvals. “One of the key reasons to renovate is to increase property value and the beachside suburbs such as Maroochydore and Alex are certainly paving the way with requests doubling this year,” Mr Nousala said.

Sunshine Coast Daily
Scott Sawyer

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