Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME Boost Benefits Builders; Record Quarter Gives Tradies Reason to Smile

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME Boost Benefits Builders; Record Quarter Gives Tradies Reason to Smile

Article excerpt

Byline: Hayden Johnson hayden.johnson@qt.com.au

ONE of Ipswich's most significant construction booms in recent history is luring tradesmen from across southeast Queensland to the region for work.

According to the Ipswich City Council's Planning and Development September quarter Activity Report, the city's population and building approvals had grown significantly.

During the September 2017 quarter, the council approved 1144 new residential lots.

This compares to 597 in the previous quarter and 1127 lots approved in the same quarter last year.

Comparatively, 468 lots were approved in the September 2012 quarter.

The building boom across the suburbs has created endless work for Mak Construction and Renovations.

The owner, Marc Berry, agreed activity in the housing market had skyrocketed in the past year, luring workers from other regions to the west.

"Other tradesmen from the Gold Coast and other places are coming to work because there's plenty of work around," he said.

"Everywhere I look around there's just renovations, extensions and the new-home market is just booming."

About $283 million in building works was approved during the September quarter, representing a 28% increase from $221 million during the previous June quarter and down about 2% from the March 2016 quarter.

The number of development applications lodged was consistent with the same period last year.

Application numbers represented an increase of 36% for the September 2017 quarter over the five-year year period from September 2012.

Mr Berry, who is juggling the tool belt and a new baby, estimated the surge in activity had occurred over the past year.

The high demand and limited supply has led Ipswich builders to join forces and get the job done.

"Talking to other builders, a lot of them will work together," Mr Berry said.

"If they're all too busy they'll ring the next guy and so it seems to be a bit of a domino effect.

"People who ring up wanting to get work done, they're finding it hard to get builders. …

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