Plasterers Darren Finati (left), and Adrian Martin, both of Wollongbar, working on a new home in Goonellabah yesterday. Mr Martin says while things have improved in the local building industry recently, he wouldn’t call it a ‘boom’.
Plasterers Darren Finati (left), and Adrian Martin, both of Wollongbar, working on a new home in Goonellabah yesterday. Mr Martin says while things have improved in the local building industry recently, he wouldn’t call it a ‘boom’. Jacklyn Wagner

Lismore in top 20 on boom list

LISMORE has made the NSW Top 20 ‘boom towns’ list based on residential building approval figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the three months to December last year.

According to the ABS figures, Lismore’s new home building approvals grew 133 per cent compared with the December 2008 quarter.

PRDnationwide Lismore real estate agent Martin Toomey agreed with the ABS figures.

“Lismore is a boom town. Lismore has a multitude of services. It is a major population centre with a median house price of $305,000. You are not going to get that anywhere else from Grafton to Tweed Heads,” he said.

Despite Lismore being the 17th-strongest growth area for building approvals in the State, Mr Toomey said the concern from real estate agents, buyers and builders was that demand for land releases still far outstripped supply.

“There is an enormous amount of land that should come to market. There has been a lot of land cut up rec- ently, but there is still an under-developed strip from Goonellabah to Wollongbar/Alstonville,” Mr Toomey said.

Mr Toomey said the Lismore City Council needed to consider rezoning more residential land if it wanted its ‘boom’ to continue.

Wal Murray & Co Lismore principal, Peter Brown, was buoyed by the latest land rel- ease figures, but agreed dem- and for new homes was outstripping the supply.

Housing Industry Association executive director David Bare said 10 of the top 20 fastest-growing council areas for the last quarter of last year were regional centres.

“It’s a case of more regional land being available and it actually being affordable,” he said.

“Goonellabah is growing reasonably well. The biggest problem is the lack of available flat land there.”

However, at the building coalface yesterday, it was different story.

Alstonville plasterer Adrian Martin, currently working for Perry Homes at Goonellabah’s Waterford Estate, said it was still tough to find building work.

“It’s picked up a bit recently. But they are dreaming if they reckon Lismore is booming,” Mr Martin said.

Top building approvals in NSW

For the December 2009 quarter, compared with December 2008 quarter

Canterbury… 518%

Ryde… 315%

Manly… 314%

Armidale… 300%



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