Will Wilson is the Master Builders Sunshine Coast regional manager.
Will Wilson is the Master Builders Sunshine Coast regional manager.

Why Gympie’s going gangbusters in renovation approvals

GYMPIE has taken out the number two and three positions on a list of the state’s top 10 renovator suburbs, according to figures released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The ABS figures for the six-month period up to December last year have Gympie south spending $32.731m and Gympie north at $31.179m.

When the figures are combined they nearly double the leading suburb on the list, which was Paddington – Milton on $32.847m.

Expenditure aside, the actual number of approvals for the Gympie Regional Council area for the same period was 41,794 which is just slightly fewer than the combined approvals for neighbouring regions Noosa (24,938), Fraser Coast (16,897) and South Burnett (4670).

But why is Gympie featuring so prominently in these figures?

The answer most likely has a lot to do with the hailstorm of October 2018.

“Re-roofing requires certification if more than 20 per cent of the roof is being replaced,” Master Builders Sunshine Coast regional manager Will Wilson said.

Roof repairs in Gympie have contributed significantly to Gympie’s accelerated renovation figures.
Roof repairs in Gympie have contributed significantly to Gympie’s accelerated renovation figures.

“There have been hundreds of these a month and are only now starting to tail off as the contractors get through the workload.

“But having said that, Gympie has a thriving market for builders who are doing alterations, additions and sheds. We have a very competent and skilled building industry,” he said.

“There are, even with the roofing approvals taken out of the equation, always more additions, renovations and sheds approved than new homes. The approval breakdown from council has shown this consistently.”

Roof repairs require certification if more than 20 per cent is to be replaced. Image: CRAIG WILSON
Roof repairs require certification if more than 20 per cent is to be replaced. Image: CRAIG WILSON

Mr Wilson said, statewide, renovations and additions continued to thrive, and part of why Gympie approvals were so good is that outside of southeast Queensland Gympie’s new home approvals were more buoyant than any other region.

“This is in part due to the net migration to the Sunshine Coast. The cost of housing and cost of living continues to rise on the Coast and the simple fact that Gympie houses and land cost less will continue to bring people to the region.”

He also said the Bruce Highway upgrades south of Gympie had played a major role in lessening commute times.

“People are also cottoning on to what a great lifestyle living in Gympie offers,” Mr Wilson said.

New home approvals are always less than addition or alteration approvals, according to Master Builders Sunshine Coast regional manager Will Wilson.
New home approvals are always less than addition or alteration approvals, according to Master Builders Sunshine Coast regional manager Will Wilson.

This year could prove interesting with political factors possibly coming into play.

“The elections have the same potential to change the building numbers as they do anywhere. “If the council appetite for building and construction is drastically altered, it could drive approval numbers up, or down. A change in state government could have the same effect, the lag time would be longer though,” he said.

Mr Wilson is predicting the end of the year for when the pendulum swings back and the number of approvals will start to increase again.

“I think that Gympie will continue to drop for the next few month, not drastically but somewhat lower. After that, we should see new growth. In general, Gympie follows the Sunshine Coast and Construction Skills Queensland believes that the Coast has hit bottom with a rise starting again some time around the end of the year.”

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