Business confidence slumps in Qld

Business confidence in the Queensland economy and building industry has slumped, with nearly 30 per cent of respondents in a recent Master Builders survey pessimistic for the future.

The Master Builders Survey of Industry Conditions for the April-June quarter 2016 shows this negativity is in line with recent building approvals, which are holding steady but expected to decline – particularly multi-units in greater Brisbane.

Master Builders deputy CEO Paul Bidwell says for the most part, however, respondents think the economic outlook for the state’s building industry will remain stable.

“Even though many respondents expect things to remain stable, the fact that a significant number are pessimistic going forward indicates that there are signs of a slowdown,” he says.

Regional summary

There was a general improvement seen regionally, with most regions recovering the losses made in the previous quarter.

The improvement was evident most in Mackay, Whitsunday and north Queensland. Central Queensland, which has also struggled with the downturn in the resource sector, maintained the gains of previous quarters but didn’t add to them.

Toowoomba, southwest Queensland and Wide Bay Burnett enjoyed a strong quarter, and although far north Queensland fell back somewhat, it still remains a regional standout.

Brisbane and the Gold and Sunshine coasts

Business confidence in the building and construction industry dropped in greater Brisbane. Turnover and profitability fared better, recovering some of the loss of the previous quarter. The report shows it’s anticipated that both indicators will be back in negative territory by September.

Business confidence in the building and construction industry in the Sunshine Coast fell away but remained at a high level during the June quarter, while the Gold Coast (pictured) continues as the state’s standout performer and there are no signs of this changing, for now.

Hot topic: renovations

The most popular renovations are bathrooms and decks, followed by kitchens.

The survey found 25 per cent of people renovate their bathroom, followed by 23 per cent who add on a deck or patio, and almost 10 per cent prefer a kitchen.

When it comes to changing customer profiles, respondents saw a drop in demand from first-time buyers and investors.

When asked about other trends, the most common theme was money or rather the lack of it. Some of the responses included: “People haven’t the disposable money”

“People are more focused on price than quality”

“They say they care about quality but at the end of the day they don’t want to pay for it”.

The role of interior design is growing in importance, with clients employing stone-look features, using a lot of timber and often seeking an industrial look.

Multi-layering eclectic design also has a place, as well as solid timber, exposed feature posts, beams and butt joint feature glazing.

Interestingly, the “media room is dead”, while provision for an electric car is now being requested.

To see the report in full, visit:

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