Regional stimulus package helps region out of ‘5 year slump’
It's good news for anyone looking to build a new home in Bundaberg and the Wide Bay Burnett region, with a statewide extension of the regional grant.
It was excluded from the state budget last year, much to the building industry's disappointment, but now the Queensland Government has announced their Regional Home Building Boost Grant will be extended until March 31 this year.
The exciting news comes after the Federal Government recently confirmed the Home Builder grant would also be extended, but decreased from $25,000 to $15,000.
Master Builder's regional manager for the Wide Bay Burnett Ian Langer said the decision to extend the regional grant was welcomed, particularly for the people living on the edge of housing affordability.
"When it wasn't announced in the state budget last year, we definitely made our disappointment known, but we are relieved to receive the recent announcement that it has been extended," Mr Langer said.
"The extension of both the HomeBuilder and the Regional Home Building Boost Grant until March 31, will allow those extra customers to access the grant, albeit at a lower rate in the case of HomeBuilder."
During August to October last year, the Wide Bay and Burnett region witnessed a rise of building approvals by 48%, when compared to the previous three months and was up by 29% on the past 12 months, creating an effective turnaround of 39%.
"These building stimulus packages have been particularly important for the Bundaberg region which has been suffering a housing construction slump of around 10% per annum for over five years now," Mr Langer said.
"The turnaround was absolutely apparent almost immediately in the new home building approvals for the area.
"Based on the difference in new home approvals in the Bundaberg region for October 2020 compared to October 2019, 84 more Bundaberg families have been able to access home ownership that month alone."
While the previous quarter showed positive results, the industry began to slow down in October, as uncertainty rose around builders and homeowners meeting the end-of-year deadline, in order to be eligible for the grants.
"To be eligible a contract had to be in place by December 31, which meant that all plans had to be drawn, soil tests done and engineering completed prior to the signing of the contract," Mr Langer said.
"With draftspeople, engineers and banks overwhelmed there was a high degree of nervousness in some quarters about taking on any more customers."
In addition to assisting hardworking Bundaberg families, couples and the first home buyers an opportunity to step into the real estate market, these stimulus packages also gives a boost to the local building and construction industries, money which then flows through the community.
A recent study conducted by the National Housing and Finance Investment Corporation showed that every $1 million spent on residential construction resulted in a $2.9 million expenditure, supporting more local employment opportunities.
"Due to the labour-intensive nature of the industry, new home construction has the second highest multiplier effect of any industry after the ferrous metal industry, meaning that economic activity has a large spill over into other industries and makes a large contribution to jobs and growth," Mr Langer said.
"Data provided by National economics states that in 2019 there were 1083 construction businesses in Bundaberg which represented 16% of all businesses in the area.
"The same data source also indicated that 8.4% of all FTE jobs in Bundaberg were in the Construction industry making it a serious contributor to the economy, particular when you factor in a multiplier effect of 2.9."
Mr Langer said builders had also indicated that migrants from southern states were taking advantage of the stimulus packages, an incentive to choose areas in regional Queensland, such as Bundaberg and the Wide Bay Burnett, as a new place to call home.
For more information about the Queensland Government's regional grant extension, visit qld.gov.au