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New Queenslanders must take a place in the housing queue

Business

Queensland should continue to welcome interstate migrants but poor planning meant it should also warn ne arrivals that the south east was almost full, according to National Property Research managing director Matthew Gross.

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He said it was now at the stage that transactions were falling because people feared being homeless with developers reporting that it could take three years to get projects “out of the ground’’.

It follows a surge of interstate migration. In the December quarter alone, 19,000 people moved to Queensland.

“What should be of significant concern to our policy makers is that overseas migration has not rebounded yet. When it does, Queensland’s economy will be supercharged much like the early 2000s which set off almost a decade of growth.

What the population data alludes to is that the impacts of the pandemic are far from being resolved. Business as usual is anything but. 

“Whilst Queensland should continue to roll out the welcome mat, perhaps it should also state: Please queue here.

“The cost of construction means that additional supply into medium density doesn’t happen at the rate it needs to because there is so much uncertainty,’’ Gross told InQueensland.

“We have got fundamental issues around planning. Our planning doctrine under the SEQ Regional Plan wants 65 per cent of new development to occur in high rise or medium density accommodation. If you look at where the population growth is happening it’s in the 25 to 44 year old age group which is the young family age group and the majority of those people don’t want to live in a high rise.’’

There was a long list of problems that Gross listed including skills shortages in the construction sector; breakdowns in the supply chains; an almost doubling of the time to build a detached home in many locations; considerable uncertainty around medium and high rise construction costs causing developers to shelve projects. There were also long approval processes for greenfield sites whereby masterplanned communities usually take in excess of a decade to commence; layers and layers of legislation and overlays for large projects; shortages of good quality, well located industrial land, and many road networks stretched beyond capacity during peak hour.

“We have a planning system that is focussed on CBDs, so all roads and rail leads to the CBD and yet our growth in the industrial and blue collar workforce is outpacing the white collar workforce,’’ he said.

“We have a shortage of industrial land which is causing enormous problems in terms of economic growth and activity.”

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