Cairns builders see rise in demand after federal election
BUILDERS are expecting a lift in interest after the federal election.
They say the local body election stifled the industry at the start of the year and the federal election was doing the same until after July 2.
A Master Builders survey of the region’s builders found that, while they remained positive, business confidence took a hit during the March quarter.
“Trading conditions for the residential sector held steady for the quarter, while the commercial sector fell slightly,” the report said. “Looking forward, both sectors are expected to improve and move into positive territory. The story was similar with respect to turnover and profitability.”
Ralf Dutton of Value Homes said elections “stifled business”.
“So we will see reduced figures for a few more months as they lag what is really happening,” he said. “However with the biggest sugar crop we have seen for some time and the fourth great tourist season in a row I believe after the election we will see the results.
“There is more large work on the drawing board and out to tender than I’ve seen for years.
“I’m still looking forward to a Christmas that shows Cairns is over the global financial crisis and into a better future.”
David McCoy Homes general manager Adam Gowlett said Master Builders deputy chief executive Paul Bidwell, who was in Cairns last week, was “glowing” in his praise of the region’s economy.
“A good point they made was that in the past Cairns featured very low on the number of apprentices per 100 employed (about 1.9) and we are now about 4.6 and the state average is about 4.3, so there is some confidence evident,” he said.
“Commercial construction continues to be soft.
“I think it is still all about confidence and leadership and we seem to be lacking a bit of both. We missed the patrol boats, the port expansion is no-man’s land, there are no major infrastructure projects on the immediate horizon.”
Dixon Homes managing director Andrew Thomas said in the last couple of months there had been an improvement in sentiment and confidence by visitors to their display homes at Smithfield Village.
“We recently titled stage two of the Tranquillity Estate release at Bentley Park. Interest in the land has been steady with eight of the 15 lots already sold,” Mr Thomas said.
The article was extracted from The Cairns Post, written by Nick Dalton,
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