Construction and development appeared healthy to Deloitte’s analysts, who attributed some of Queensland’s strong economic outlook to high levels of interstate migration and international tourism, which have encouraged a growing list of tourism-related construction projects.
Queensland’s international tourist arrivals are expected to remain solid over the forecast period, averaging growth of 4.7 percent out to 2021.
There were reasonable gains in engineering activity in Queensland, and Cross River Rail was in the planning stages.
The report also put a focus on livability and housing affordability. In the midst of the continuing debate over house prices and quality of living, Deloitte reported that Queensland has less cause for concern.
Queensland’s place in the national picture of housing affordability is a comparative advantage. In the midst of a housing price boom, living in Queensland remains more affordable than in the southern states.
While Sydney and Melbourne house prices have experienced year-on year growth in the double digits, Brisbane has experienced a modest 3.5 per cent growth.”
Despite this optimism, Queensland was revealed to be mirroring the national trend, showing a slight decline in outright home ownership and owners who have a mortgage.
Rental stress was recorded to be higher than the national average, with more Queenslanders renting than owning their own home compared to the rest of the country.
“But with a modest decline in rent in the June quarter CPI figures, increasing vacancy rates, and new supply from an easing residential construction boom the conditions could result in Brisbane becoming a renter’s market,” Deloitte said.
Job growth was accelerating in Queensland and while population growth had “bottomed”, it was now back in line with the national average — although it remained below the level experienced in the state five years ago.
In less positive news, CommSec’s latest State of the States report found Queensland’s economic performance had slipped to sixth place, hampered by weak business investment and retail spending.
CommSec chief economist Craig James said that despite a recent surge in residential construction, oversupply is still a concern. Queensland would benefit from increased revenue generated by the state’s gas industry as well as spending that resulted from a rise in employment.
Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt defended the state’s ranking saying that the CommSec report understated the state’s performance.
“Most people’s economic indicator is whether they have a job or not and both the DAE and CommSec reports highlight our strong performance in job creation,” Pitt said.
Of Queensland’s population of 4.7 million, more than half were recorded to be living outside of the state’s capital city. Queensland’s south-east corner, including Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Sunshine Coast, saw a growth rate in population twice that of the rest of the state.
Despite Queensland’s size, urbanization has taken hold — 66 percent of the population living within 0.6 percent of Queensland’s total area.