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Improving conditions reflect 'steady' construction outlook

25 August, 2014

Master Builders' latest Survey of Industry Conditions for the June 2014 quarter reveals improved residential and commercial sector conditions despite a third successive downward adjustment in business confidence.

Master Builders' Deputy Executive Director, Paul Bidwell, said that despite experiencing a slight fall, business confidence in the Queensland building and construction industry remained at a high level during the June 2014 quarter.

"These latest results go hand in hand with the recent positive result for building approvals and housing finance figures and paint a positive picture for Queensland's building and construction industry," Bidwell said.

"These results reflect the steadier environment where the Reserve Bank of Australia has held the official cash rate steady and employment growth has been moderate.

Resource boom reality

"While for many regions of Queensland, the reality of the end of the resources boom continues to be felt, it is still reassuring that confidence appears to be levelling at a relatively high point.

"The level of business activity improved significantly during the quarter, with 40 per cent of businesses reporting a strong level of work in progress – up from 31 per cent on the last quarter.

"The results also tell us that average contract prices are stabilising and the number of respondents reporting weaker prices has dropped to 21 per cent – another great result.

Strong competition for work

"There is also little evidence of upward pressure on prices as the industry continues to be driven by strong competition for available work and budget-conscious consumers. This is also expected to continue next quarter.

"These latest results represent a significant improvement since our last survey and go hand in hand with improving levels of building approvals and activity." 

Other key points from the survey included an improvement in employment levels with the majority of businesses expecting their staffing and apprentice levels to improve over the next three months, and the lacklustre level of demand remaining as the most critical constraint on business growth. This has been the biggest drag on the construction industry for more than three years.

Master Builders' Survey of Industry Conditions report provides information and analysis on industry expectations and business performance, based on a survey of Master Builders' members across Queensland.

Read copies of the reports

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