Nova City. Artist’s impression of two-bedroom apartment. FOR CAIRNS POST REAL ESTATE LIFTOUT 23/05/18FAR North Queensland was a standout performer in the latest building approval figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, up 27 per cent on the previous 12 months. Across Queensland, Master Builders’ deputy chief executive Paul Bidwell said the end of the boost to the First Home Owners’ Grant was a contributing factor in the largest monthly gain in building approvals since 2015. “We’re attributing the jump in numbers for new homes to people seeking to get their contracts over the line before the end of the boost,” he said. “Housing finance figures also showed a surge in first homeowner’s securing finance, which now appears to be topping out. “While only time will tell, we believe this is evidence of the importance of the state government’s $5000 boost for first home buyers. Let’s hope we don’t see a significant drop next month as a result.” “Dwelling approvals for Mackay and Whitsunday doubled over the previous 12 months; a continuation of its rebound from the region’s historic low in recent years.”In Cairns, Mr Bidwell said the jump could be contributed to the approvals for the Nova City and GA Group’s Abbott St unit developments. In the 2015/16 financial year, 131 unit approvals were recorded, compared to 586 in 2016/17.Housing approvals, however, dropped 7 per cent from 1211 in 2015/2016 to 1123 in 2016/17.In total, about 400 extra dwellings were recording, the number rising from 1342 to 1709.But the actual situation could be a lot softer than Master Builders’ data has indicated.Urban Development Institute of Australia Cairns branch president Adam Gowlett said internal analysis of Queensland Building and Construction Commission approvals showed in July, among 50 of the region’s biggest builders, just 31 jobs were paid up.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days ago“That is tracking at about 360 jobs for the year. Last financial year there were 665 jobs, so it is about half the rate as usual. We really should be doing 70-80 a month,” he said.“The trend for July was a bit worrying, people have been saying things have been softening.“The approvals and cranes on the skyline are not translating into jobs on the ground and confidence in our local community. “Part of that is being driven by the increased difficulty for people to get loans for properties.“For Cairns and all of the world, structural change in the way of employment means more part-time jobs and less full-time jobs. “More part-time jobs don’t equate to banks lending to those families.“The other part of the equation is we haven’t seen the investors come back into Cairns and we have really low vacancy rates. It is all combining to keep our market a little bit subdued.”Mr Gowlett said Queenslanders, on average, were now holding their houses for three years longer, at 10 years.People who move tend to spend on new curtains, furniture, gardening goods and other items. “If people stop moving, they stop spending and everyone sits around with their hands in their pockets and the economy does the same.”
Follow us on Twitter @dailytrojan The No. 1-ranked USC women’s golf team began their fall season Monday, tying for eighth after one round at the Dale McNamara Fall Preview in Tulsa, Okla. The round marked the Women of Troy’s first steps toward defending their 2012 National Championship, won by one of the largest margins in NCAA history.Sophomore Kyung Kim, who tied for sixth at last year’s NCAA championship as a freshman, led the Women of Troy on Monday with a 1-under 69. Her score was good enough to put her in a nine-way tie for third place. Kim struggled on the front nine, but strung together two consecutive birdies on the back nine to lift her up the leaderboard and within two strokes of first place.Freshman Gabriella Then made a strong debut for the Trojans, hovering near par all day before falling to 1-over on the 18th hole. Then is tied for 21st but is just four strokes behind Oklahoma State’s Julie Yang at the top of the leaderboard. Stanford’s Lauren Kim is in sole possession of second place.Two of USC’s team leaders from a year ago, senior Sophia Popov and sophomore Annie Park, struggled in comparison to their excellent spring campaigns. Popov finished with a 2-over 73, while Park came in at 5-over. The odds are favorable that this pair will return to form, considering Popov is aiming at several USC career records this season and Park is defending an individual national title.The Women of Troy have 10 strokes to make up if they are to catch leader No. 16 Oklahoma State over the next two rounds. No. 3 Duke, No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 12 Stanford also stand in the team’s way. The rest of the tournament can be followed all day Tuesday and Wednesday on golfstat.com.