Gympie region bucks state's worrying building trend
GYMPIE is bucking Queensland's building slump with a 2.6 per cent growth in approvals over the past year - but experts say the success will not last.
New figures from the Queensland Master Builders revealed there were 355 residential building approvals in the Gympie region in 2018, nine more than in the previous year.
The growth was driven by unit construction, with 37 in 2018, up from 27 in 2017.
The region was not immune to the end-of-year slippage which was felt around the state though.
From November-January there were only 69 approvals, down almost 29 per cent from August-October 2018.
A QMB spokeswoman said Gympie was one of the only Queensland regions still turning a positive result.
"Gympie is actually holding its ground pretty well with most of Queensland now recording a drop over the past 12 months,” she said.
"Unfortunately, this is not expected to last with recent results turning down.
"This shows that the region is not immune to the market downturn brought on by the tightened access to finance affecting the rest of the state.”
The QMB data was backed by Gympie Regional Council's figures. Last year, council approved 475 buildings, only 10 less than in 2017.
Although privately certified buildings were inflated by re-roofing requests last year (422 issued after October 11) they were still on the upswing.
The year-on-year figures show the region's annual approvals have risen continually since 2012.
"We're probably bucking the trend due to our close proximity to southeast Queensland, and there's a number of people still looking for that tree change,” Mayor Mick Curran said.
"Gympie's still regarded as a larger country town which offers so much for both our current and new residents.
"I speak to builders and electricians all the time and it would be fair comment to say the majority are very busy.”