GOING UP: Gympie 'chippy' Don Munt was hard at work yesterday for Stirling Homes, one of the region's biggest home builders.
GOING UP: Gympie 'chippy' Don Munt was hard at work yesterday for Stirling Homes, one of the region's biggest home builders. Renee Albrecht

'Emerging' Gympie region ideal for first home buyers

GYMPIE region residential building approvals rose almost 15% over the 12 months to September this year, eclipsing the state growth trend of 1.8%.

A Gympie Regional Council spokesman said yesterday 1025 new homes were approved for the region between August 2015 and September 2016, compared to 892 in the previous 12 months.

Across Queensland, residential building approvals rose 1.8% over the 12 months to September this year and the value of new homes and units grew by 5% to hit $13.2 billion.

"We continue to experience strong growth in the housing sector and are encouraged by housing approval statistics,” Mayor Mick Curran said yesterday.

"The first Home Owners Grant is a great start for young couples wanting to build their first family home and we think the Gympie region is the ideal place for this. We have lots of space and offer a great family lifestyle.”

Cr Curran said the new GRC continued to be "focussed on the economic development of our region and attracting people to invest, live and grow their business here”.

"Gympie is emerging as a region in its own right and we are focussed on unlocking our potential,” he said.

"The Bruce Hwy upgrade combined with work the council has done to improve liveability with projects such as the Town Centre, Aquatic and Recreation Centre and Smithfield St, and improved planning processes have all contributed to making our region even more attractive to families and investors.”

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the latest ABS data showed that in the 12 months to September 2016 a total of 49,878 new dwelling were approved in Queensland.

"This compares with 49,011 approvals in the 12 months to September 2015 and is a 1.8% rise.

"While the latest figures show growth slowed over the past year, approvals remain at a very high level and are up by more than 25% or more than 10,000 when compared with the 12 months to September 2014.”

Mr Pitt said of the 49,878 approvals in the year to September there were 23,846 house approvals (up 1.2%) and 26,032 unit or apartment approvals (up 2.3%).

"Today in Parliament we saw the Shadow Treasurer again cherry picking the bleakest figures possible out of the ABS report just so he can talk down the Queensland economy,” he said.

"This is all part of the LNP's campaign of negativity to hide the fact they have not released a single economic policy in more than 18 months let alone a detailed economic plan.

"All Tim Nicholls offers is a return to the lazy LNP approach of cutting jobs, cutting frontline services, and selling our income-generating state assets.”

Mr Pitt said the growth in housing approvals was a positive sign for the building and construction industry - one of the largest employers across Queensland.

"It also highlights the value of the Queensland First Home Owners' Grant boosted earlier this year to $20,000 for new dwellings up to $750,000,” he said.

"We recognise there are regions that need our assistance, and that's why I encourage first time home buyers to apply for the Queensland First Home Owners' Grant which could see them receiving $20,000 towards a new home.

"This higher grant is good news for home buyers in the south-east corner of the state but even better for those in regional Queensland where house prices are relatively lower.

"We are confident that this initiative will create more jobs and help more people into home ownership.”

For more information about the Queensland First Home Owners' Grant visit firsthomeowners.initiatives

.qld.gov.au

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