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REIQ urges accountability and long-term vision in State Budget to address deepening housing crisis


Ahead of the State Budget next week, the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has called out the worsening state of the housing crisis and is pushing for an accountable delivery plan from both parties. REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella warned that the latest ABS data on Queensland’s building approvals, dwelling commencements, and completion times paints a bleak picture, indicating that the state is falling deeper into the housing crisis.

“Our overall building approvals, dwelling commencements and completions remain stuck below 35,000 new dwellings each year — which is well below what’s required to catch up to demand,” Ms Mercorella said. “ABS building approval data shows that in the 12 months to April 2024 there was a 13.5 percent decline in private dwelling apartment approvals in Queensland.”

Dwelling commencements in the private sector dropped by 7.4 percent in the last calendar year, while completions dropped by 1.4 percent. Social housing completions of new builds over the past two years are also at historic lows, despite the state’s waitlist of more than 40,000 people.

Ms Mercorella highlighted plummeting construction productivity as a pain point, with Queensland having the longest completion times for apartments in the country at 26 months, compared to just 14 months a decade ago. The apartment market has skewed towards the upper end, creating a “missing middle” in housing product diversity, as demonstrated on the Gold Coast where luxury apartments priced at $1 million or above are now almost exclusively the norm.

“It is now taking more than 50 percent longer to complete a house in Queensland than it did 10 years ago. This points to declining productivity in the sector,” Ms Mercorella said.

She expressed disappointment that Queenslanders continue to be left with lip service when it comes to on-the-ground action to ease the housing crisis, questioning how the government can deliver on their targets in the current market conditions. Ms Mercorella also raised concerns about recent rental reforms causing confusion and uncertainty in the market.

“Queensland should be the state to watch, with huge opportunities on our horizon, but the sentiment is that we’re simply not set up for success. We need a vision that will bring back hope and optimism to Queenslanders,” she said.


Ms Mercorella called on both parties to use State Budget week to move beyond short-term sweeteners and lay out a long-term vision for Queensland housing, supported by an accountable delivery plan with open and transparent monthly reporting against set KPIs. She also urged the government to include initiatives that build and encourage pathways to home ownership, as Queensland currently holds the title of lowest homeownership of any state in the country.

“The State Government seem to have forgotten about aspirational buyers and how we can help them take that very first step to get into home ownership,” Ms Mercorella said. “The Help to Buy scheme relies on the Federal Government, and we’d like to see Queensland showing leadership with initiatives of its own to help people realise their dreams of home ownership.”

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