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MONDAY PROPERTY: Units drive building growth

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Brisbane’s number of unit buildings increased more than half over the past 12 months and considered to have a significant shift in comparison to 10 years ago.

RECORD home unit building approvals are driving an increase in the total number of dwellings across Queensland.

The number of home unit approvals has more than doubled in the past decade. This surge has been driven by activity across Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

The figures come on the back of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing home loan demand remains strong, with a 1.2% jump in the number of dwelling commitments approved throughout February.

unit buildingIn Brisbane the number of unit building approvals reached 58% of total dwelling approvals over the past 12 months, while on the Gold Coast the figure was 55%, and on the Sunshine Coast it was 38%.

The statewide figure is 47% of the total approvals over the past 12 months.

Master Builders deputy executive director Paul Bidwell said this was a significant shift in comparison to 10 years ago when the number of unit building approvals was only 29% of total approvals in Queensland.

“South-East Queensland is going gang-busters, even though the regions are languishing, and that is in line with what our members are saying,” Mr Bidwell said.

“The increase in the unit figures can be attributed to the demand in investor sales and a desire for a lifestyle close to shops, transport and other amenities.”

The regional dwelling approvals for February 2015 show Queensland-wide approvals rose by 12.6% on the previous year.

However, it is the regional figures that tell the true story of building activity.

Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast all continue their strong run, with the Gold Coast recording an exceptional 59% increase over the past 12 months, Brisbane 20.3% and the Sunshine Coast 21.7%.

February also brought a 23.1% increase on the Sunshine Coast over the previous month.

That tends to indicate the fall in the $A compared to the $US from above $1 to high the 70 cent range as being a benefit to the international tourist market and part of the reason why south-east Queensland as well as Cairns is travelling well. The Darling Downs, Wide Bay and North Queensland which were performing strongly are now flat as the effects of the reduction in mining investment continue to spread.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said while financial approvals were up across Australia, the number was skewed by people refinancing to take advantage of the low interest rates.

The value of investment loans fell by 3.5% in February.

Mr James said it seemed that potential home investors were taking heed of the Reserve Bank’s warnings on over-leveraging in a low interest rate environment.

If this continue, Brisbane  home loan demand will remain strong.

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Infrastructure

Budget delivers more record road spending for the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay areas

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Budget delivers more record road spending for the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay areas

The Palaszczuk Government will deliver $509.7 million in 2018-19 for the North Coast district as part of another record investment in road and transport infrastructure for the third year in a row.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the district was one of the many beneficiaries of the blockbuster roads budget being delivered under the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP).

“Funding for the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay area is part of the Queensland Government’s record spend on road and transport infrastructure across the state for the third year running, with an investment of about $21.7 billion over the next four years,” Mr Bailey said.

“This will include $2.917 billion of works planned just for this area alone, over the next four years, supporting an average of 2689 direct jobs.

“Continuing works on the Bruce Highway and other key links around the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay are the main focus.

“We’re also looking to get cars off the Bruce, and Sunshine Coast commuters will benefit from $160.8 million Queensland Government funding for the Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade, which will support an average of 312 jobs per year over the life of the project, with design work getting underway in 18-19.

Mr Bailey said major projects for the North Coast district in 2018-19 included:

–     Bruce Highway Upgrade Project, continue widening of the highway from four to six lanes between Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway and upgrading the interchanges for a total cost of  $812.9 million (2018-19 $200 million)

–     Bruce Highway, continue installing safety barriers along the highway between Beerburrum and Cooroy for a total cost of $79.8 million (2018-19 $42.5 million)

–     Burpengary Caboolture Road (locally known as Morayfield Road) and Beerburrum Road Route Safety project, start work on safety treatments along these sections between the Bruce Highway and D’Aguilar Highway overpass for a total cost of $28.8 million (2018-19 $8 million)

–     Continue upgrades to improve access to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital for a total cost of $22 million (2018-19 $4.8 million) with works starting on a third package to improve capacity at Nicklin Way between Main Drive and Waterview Street and provide access from Production Avenue to Kawana Way

–     Caboolture Connection Road Route Safety Strategy, continue safety improvements along various locations on Caboolture Connection Road between the Bruce Highway and D’Aguilar Highway for a total cost of $7.6 million (2018-19 $3.7 million)

“We are also providing $3.7 million in 2018-19 through the 50:50 Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS) to support councils to develop the local transport infrastructure they need,” he said.

Mr Bailey said this budget showed the Palaszczuk Government’s ongoing commitment to delivering key infrastructure and creating jobs for the people of Queensland.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s investment in roads, rail, marine, passenger transport and active transport infrastructure is estimated to support about 19,200 direct jobs, on average, over the life of the four-year program,” he said.

Source: mysunshinecoast.com.au

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Infrastructure

Council commits to new Coast convention centre

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Council commits to new Coast convention centre

MONEY from the sale of Sunshine Coast Council land will be reserved to help bring a convention and exhibition centre to the new Maroochydore CBD.

A new facility is expected to cost about $200 million and the council commitment is intended to encourage state and federal contributions.

The commitment was made in a confidential session of the most recent council meeting after a motion moved by Cr Jason O’Pray was successful with seven votes for and three against.

Mayor Mark Jamieson, Cr Tim Dwyer and Cr Peter Cox opposed the motion.

Cr O’Pray could not release details of the yet-to-be-sold property or how much money would be raised but said he thought making the financial commitment, on top of providing the land, was a positive step in achieving a suitable facility.

He said he took advice from council officers in making the plan.

“I had tossed and turned about this for quite some time when I knew we were selling land in Maroochydore,” Cr O’Pray said.

“My main reasoning for quarantining this money was because I’m absolutely certain we will need state and federal backing on this.

“It is really important to me to see the CBD has its own convention centre.”

He said securing a private backer would be “even better” than relying on government funding for the project.

“Council can clearly not afford that (cost) on its own.”

Cr Jamieson was contacted for comment but declined to publicly detail his reasons for opposing the motion, with a council spokesman saying the mayor did not disclose matters discussed in confidential session.

The spokesman said the council would contribute to a convention and exhibition facility by providing the land on which it was developed and in all likelihood, having to cover the ongoing annual maintenance and other costs.

“The ratepayers of many other regions across Queensland have not been required to contribute towards the cost of developing their convention and exhibition centres,” the spokesman said.

“The cost to construct such facilities in many of these locations has been borne by the State Government.”

He said a new functional brief and specifications for a new convention and exhibition centre had been completed.

Consulting firm PG International was engaged by the council in March last year to complete the work.

“The functional brief and specifications will inform the development of a business case and preliminary design, which will be done if and when, funding becomes available.”

A Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning spokesman said the department didn’t currently have any funding allocated for a convention and exhibition centre on the Coast.

However, he said the minister for the department and the former director-general wrote to all local governments on March 12 inviting submissions for the Maturing the Infrastructure Pipeline Program.

He said the grant program was available to all local governments through a competitive process to undertake strategic planning for infrastructure and develop business cases and detailed design.

Submissions close on April 9.

“Sunshine Coast Council could make a submission for potential assistance in developing its business case for this project,” the spokesman said.

Source: www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au

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Infrastructure

Fast rail a boon for future generations

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Fast rail a boon for future generations

Sunshine Coast Business Council chairwoman Sandy Zubrinich said the North Coast Connect project, which looks to draw on rail duplication and the CAMCOS corridor, would cater to the bulk of current and future Coast populations.

She said about 65 per cent of the current population of about 170,000 people lived within proximity of the CAMCOS corridor and 85 per cent of the future Coast popualtion growth is to the region’s south, in proximity to the rail corridor.

“Locals will benefit significantly from the increased connectivity,” she said.

The North Coast Connect project has received Federal Government backing by way of a share in $20 million for a business case to be developed.

It was one of just three projects nationally to secure the funding and the Palaszczuk Government has also committed $5 million towards the business case.

Supported by Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and Noosa councils, the project is seen by Ms Zubrinich as one perfect for bi-partisan collaboration.

“It is certainly a project that the three tiers of government and the community can get behind and support,” she said.

The business case will be delivered by a consortium of KPMG, Urbis, Stockland and Smec and is expected to take 12-18 months to put together.

The vision is to slash travel times from the Coast to Brisbane down to 45 minutes.

Originally Published: www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au

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