Real estate agent Mike Suidgeest at the under construction Beachcomber Park Estate at Toogoom. Photo: Alistair Brightman
Real estate agent Mike Suidgeest at the under construction Beachcomber Park Estate at Toogoom. Photo: Alistair Brightman

$25k windfall to have ‘major impact’ on Coast construction

AS HOUSE owners hold onto properties and supply struggles to match demand, experts hope a new government stimulus will provide a welcome boost for the Fraser Coast property industry.

Glen Winney, president of the Fraser Coast Property Industry Association, said a $25,000 Federal Government grant for new home builds and major renovations would have a “major impact” in the region.

“With the coronavirus, we’re probably going to get a lull in the July/September quarter,” Mr Winney said.

“If they can stimulate it now and encourage people to get back into building, it could iron out any problems.

“One stimulates the other. If construction’s busy, there’s more land being sold and developers start moving quicker. There’s more money circulating around the economy,” Mr Winney said.

Under the scheme, homeowners will be offered grants of around $25,000 to build new homes but renovators will have to match the “free” cash by more than a dollar for dollar.

Designed to protect tradies’ jobs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the final details of the scheme will be announced this week.

Mike Suidgeest, sales consultant for Elders Real Estate in Toogoom, said encouraging new home builds would help solve the problem of low supply in a high demand market.

“The biggest problem our market is having is people aren’t putting their houses up for sale as much as they would normally do,” Mr Suidgeest said.

“The demand has been good for us here but the supply is the issue.

“People put their heads down and say they won’t do anything for a while.”

He said the proposed grant, designed to stimulate the construction industry, was ideal as a number of major residential developments were already under way on the Fraser Coast.

“It could even help more people to get into the market,” he said.

“Lenders are going to be tougher now but if a grant comes in which can then boost someone’s deposit, that would make a big difference.”

Troy Rogers, principal at One Realty Maryborough said any support for the construction industry had flow-on effects for the entire economy.

“We have Hyne Timber that does house frames here so there’s a flow-on effect there,” Mr Roger said.

“Then of course you’ve got your trades that flow off that.”

Mr Rogers agreed that a lack of available houses was the biggest challenge for the local real estate industry.

“We need more stock, that’s a constant conversation,” he said.

“We actually have a shortage of brick homes so it would be a great opportunity for any builders to buck the trend, not pull back and build more homes.”

Mr Winney said the proposed scheme was likely to have a bigger impact in regions like the Fraser Coast than it did in cities.

He pointed out $400,000 on the Fraser Coast bought a family-sized home and $25,000 represented six per cent of that price.

This incentive was likely to encourage prospective buyers to build here, he said.

“It’ll encourage people who live in the city to consider an investment here,” Mr Winney said.

“It’s a solid rental market as well.

“All the indications we’re seeing is that we’ll come out of this in a strong position.

“It’ll quicken decision processes up. People are not going to sit and wait.”