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Building approval hotspots identify future activity

Release Date: 13/10/2016

Building activity across the region particularly in residential construction remains extremely strong. The Illawarra Business Chamber (IBC) has reviewed data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and mapped building approval ‘hotspots’ across the region. The data comprises both residential and commercial building approvals.

A red ‘hotspot’ identifies where building approvals for the last 12 months exceed the previous 12 month period and blue where approvals have declined. An orange spot indicates the continuation of strong building approval and/or construction activity.

Illawarra Business Chamber Executive Director, Chris Lamont, said the region has seen a 15.5% increase in building approvals taking the total number of building approvals to 3,774 for the period September 2015 to August 2016.

“The number of cranes and scaffolding in use confirm strong construction activity across the region. Activity in Wollongong remains robust, despite a slight drop in building approvals over the last 12 months,” said Chris Lamont.

The largest percentage increase in building approvals for the 12 month period occurred in Gerringong, Kiama, Kiama Downs, Albion Park and Kembla Grange.

“Building approvals are a proxy of future economic activity and the numbers paint a positive future outlook for construction employment across the region.

It is important to look at these numbers against the medium to longer term trend and this assessment confirms that construction activity for the region should remain very strong,” said Chris Lamont.

While building approval data reveals healthy demand in the construction sector the IBC maintains there is a need to invest more to ensure the region has the skilled labour force to meet future demand.

“We need to ensure we have sufficient tradespeople across the region to meet expected demand for planned projects,” said Chris Lamont.

A map of building approval ‘hotspot’ activity is shown below.

Media contact: Sharon Wingate 4223 0303

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