KURRAJONG WINS HIA ARCHITECTURE AWARD

Lifestyle. Innovation.  Quality

Kurrajong Steel Homes is an award winning building company that has specialised in building steel framed homes for over 25 years.

Known for its exceptional architectural design and workmanship – Kurrajong Steel Homes proudly boasts an enviable reputation not only as South East Queensland’s most experienced steel framed builder, but also for the HIA’s 2014 Custom Built Home of the year ($1-2 million) award for its architecturally designed home in Cleveland’s prestigious Raby Bay.

Located on a difficult shaped block in a sought after location, this stunning waterfront home highlights the abilities of Kurrajong’s architectural team to take a challenging site and transform it into an award winning, resort style retreat. Designed to capture the waterfront views and encapsulate the Raby Bay lifestyle – this two storey beauty showcases the outstanding attention to detail and quality craftsmanship that reflects Kurrajong’s reputable name. (more…)

BUILDING APPROVAL FIGURES MISS THE MARK ON A RECOVERY…

Despite a rise in building approvals in August, builders remain concerned that the drop in interest rates has not stimulated enough activity. The current figures for building approvals highlight the long road ahead to a sustainable recovery.

Industry analysts comment that “more concerted reform for new housing, which is one of the most heavily taxed sectors of the Australian economy, would be a driving force for an improved outlook”. A survey of more than 500 builders confirmed that interest rate cuts have failed to lift confidence across the building and construction sectors.

The failure of rate cuts to make a significant impact is a disappointing survey finding. It should come as no surprise that builders are reducing their operations, including staff levels. The survey also found that conditions are now weaker that during the global financial crisis.

The industry has pinned its hopes on another rate cut in October to boost confidence where previous efforts have failed.

BIG NEWS IN PLUMBING……

As of 1 November 2012, plumbing approvals for any additions or alterations will no longer be required. This includes work any to existing houses and townhouses. This type of plumbing will become known as “notifiable work”, and a licensed plumber will lodge the necessary forms to the Plumbing Industry Council within the required time frame of completing the work.
Some examples of notifiable work and work that requires a plumbing permit are listed below:

  1. A detached home with existing drainage and water supply is considered an existing building.
  2. A new detached home is not an existing building as it does not have drainage or a water supply.
  3. A detached shed that has a water supply but no drainage is not considered an existing building.
  4. A new granny flat built on to an existing detached residential dwelling will be subject to notifiable work.
  5. A new detached residential building built on the same lot, but not connected to an existing residential building is not considered to be an existing building.
  6. A new townhouse will not be considered to be an existing building.

NEW BUILDING CODE FOR WINDOW BARRIERS

The new building code for Australia in 2013 will include requirements for window barriers on opening windows in buildings above a certain height.

From May 2013, window barriers will be mandatory for opening windows in early childhood centres and bedrooms in residential buildings – such as houses and apartments where the floor beneath the window is more than two metres above the ground.

The changes will apply to new buildings and will require windows to be fitted either with a device to restrict the opening, or a screen that will restrict the opening to a 125mm sphere. The device or screen can have a child lock to enable it to be removed so a window can be cleaned.

Owners have been advised to check local regulations, as these changes contain provisions for the whole building to comply when alterations are planned.

HOME LOANS SHOWING SOME GROWTH

The latest set of home loan figures show that these types of loans are on the increase. Home loans rose by nearly two percent in the last month, which comes as welcome news following a one percent fall the previous month.  Economists had predicted a rise of at least 1.5 per cent as the economy began to feel the effects of earlier rate cuts. This data is the latest piece of good news for the housing market, which has finally begun to see increased demand in recent weeks.

DEMAND FOR RESIDENTIAL LAND RISING

A new report by an industry analyst has predicted the demand for residential land in south-east Qld will to continue to rise.  The recent weakness in construction has created a shortage, and combined with the drop in interest rates has led to some positive figures.  Early signs of a recovery are emerging, with lending for new dwellings and first home buyers improving.

 

Whilst the figures are modest so far, they do indicate an increase in demand.  First home buyers entering the market also push up sales for “up graders”, allowing them to sell existing homes more easily and buy new ones.

 

Encouraging signs are being reported in the Brisbane land market, and it will be helped further by growth in the Qld economy.  Growth in lot production is predicted to steadily improve, however forecast interest rate rises may affect these outcomes.

FALL IN CONSTRUCTION ACITVITY

The recently released Performance of Construction Index (PCI) shows a drop to 30.9 in September compared with 32.2 the previous month.  A reading less than 50 points indicates a contraction.

The sector has been declining steadily for 28 months, highlighting its weakness of declining activity, employment and deliveries.  All sectors reported a fall in September, with apartment and house building being the poorest performers.  Economist Julie Toth, commented that the overall feeling in Australian construction was one of weakness.

She said that the intensive capital activity in mining was simply not filling the gap left by the severe downturn in both residential and commercial construction.  This is particularly apparent in the lack of new orders and employment measures, though this may be helped by this week’s interest rate cut.

“This cyclical downturn in the building activity is having major knock on effects for other industries, up and down the construction and housing supply chains”, she said.

CONSTRUCTION IN QLD STILL STRUGGLING

Qld Treasurer Tim Nicholls has today outlined a plan by the government to help kick start the property sector.  After a four year slump, he announced that there had been a slight increase in growth in construction, but added that “things haven’t turned around as much as we would have liked.”

The main difficulties include securing finance, and consumer confidence in the industry.  Nicholls said that the first home owners construction grant, the release of affordable land and streamlining building sustainability laws should help give the industry a much needed boost.

PROPERTY WILL RETURN

Speaking at an Economists lunch last week, industry experts commented that if interest rates stay around current levels or lower for the foreseeable future, buyers will be heading back to the property market and taking out more loans. Rates are expected to go lower, but it’s also hopeful that very low rates will be sustained for a lengthy period of time.

HOUSING CONSTRUCTION FINALLY PICKING UP

The latest figures are showing a slight improvement in building approvals, but industry groups are warning that further interest rate cuts are needed to sustain growth.  Previous cuts over the past year have helped to stimulate growth, but more action is needed.

The danger is that the recovery could stall as the impacts of previous rate cuts haven’t lifted new homebuyer confidence enough.  It suggests more cuts are needed to provide a greater boost to the sector.  Construction approvals for multi-unit dwellings rose, while approvals for houses fell.  This shows a consistent shift towards high density living, which is now more affordable.