Latest activity in the Queensland market is giving cause to be cautiously optimistic for an economic boost to the region.
The Residential Property Prospects 2012 to 2015 report from BIS Shrapnel indicates that resource-rich states such as Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia are showing good signs of economic recovery as there is continued growth in resource investment spending. Additionally, homebuyers are expected to become more active over the next three years as the property market improves.
On the Gold Coast, the construction industry seems to be recovering from a dive in recent years, with it being reported that 1712 more building jobs were created in three months and housing approvals were up 15.6%. Construction is the fourth largest employer on the Gold Coast and predicted growth will also provide relief to those laid-off during the market down-turn.
A continued boom in demand for and investment in resources has created increased demand for accommodation on the Gold Coast. Currently gas plants are being established for Santos, Origin-Conoco Phillips and British Gas in the area. These are expected to create thousands of jobs and a further increase in housing demand for the region.
Veteran builder Grant Fielder has recently sold his business constructing upmarket homes to concentrate on building affordable family homes through his company, AM Direct Homes on the Gold Coast. His company is planning to complete 120 homes per year and sees the Gold Coast as an area of continued investment opportunity as population continues to grow. "Housing is a sound long-term investment strategy" says Mr Fielder, siting the interest of superannuation funds in investing in resource regions.
Booms to the Gold Coast economy such as announcing the hosting of the 2018 Commonwealth Games are also lending to the sense of optimism. The Games are forecast to generate up to $2 billion in economic benefits, create up to 30,000 jobs, result in new and improved sports facilities and fast-track major infrastructure such as the light-rail project. Such an economic boost is sorely needed in a state that is currently struggling to reduce a $65 billion debt.
The news for Australia as a whole is also looking slightly brighter with the Australian Bureau of Statistics quarterly financial accounts reporting that Australians have regained almost all wealth lost during the financial crisis. Quarter 1 2012 was the second consecutive quarter of growth , leading Commsec economist Savanth Sebastian to state; "cash is king" as households and businesses take a more conservative approach to wealth management.
Overall these latest reports give hope for a state that has been beleaguered since the financial crisis with lay-offs and debt. It is hoped that continued investment in resources and opportunities such as the Commonwealth Games will be the turn-around sorely needed by Queensland.