REIQ calls out home truths on State Government’s housing response

Contributed By: Jane Garcia on

Ahead of the State Budget next week, the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) is calling out the woeful state of the housing crisis and pushing for an accountable delivery plan from both parties.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said it was important to lay bare the facts regarding the state of Queensland’s housing market today, 19.5 months on from the landmark Housing Summit – warning the data painted a bleak picture.

“The latest ABS data on our state’s building approvals, dwelling commencements and completion times does not tell a story of a State that’s headed towards housing recovery,” Ms Mercorella said.

“On the contrary, it appears Queensland is falling deeper into the housing crisis, and without some major systemic changes it’s hard to see how we’ll claw our way out.

“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.

“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.1

“Dwelling commencements in the private sector dropped by 7.4 percent2 in the last calendar year, while completions dropped by 1.4 percent.3

“Social housing completions of new builds over the past two years are at historic lows, which is concerning given our state’s waitlist of more than 40,000 people.”

Ms Mercorella said plummeting construction productivity was a pain point that continued to cost Queensland dearly.

“Queensland has the longest completion times for apartments in the country at 26 months. Ten years ago, this was only 14 months,” she said.4

“Due to soaring costs and poor productivity, the apartment market has skewed towards the upper end of the market, creating a ‘missing middle’ in housing product diversity.

“This is clearly demonstrated on the Gold Coast where developments catering to larger, luxury apartments with a correlating price tag of $1 million or above are now almost exclusively the norm.5

“It’s easy to assume big Government infrastructure projects worth $100m+ have little impact on residential housing, but our tradies are being absorbed by these projects which is affecting costs and productivity across the entire construction sector.

“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.”

She said that it was disappointing to see Queenslanders continue to be left with lip service when it comes to on-the-ground action to ease the housing crisis.

“We’re not saying that the principles of the Homes for Queenslanders plan aren’t sound, but we are wondering how they can deliver their targets in the current market conditions,” she said.

“It’s not surprising to hear government-funded organisations praising this plan given the millions in funding they receive, but it’s an interesting change of tune when you consider how little has been delivered since the Housing Summit was called for.

“In an election year, it can be convenient for parties to set lofty targets and make promises that they may never have to fulfill.

“We fear that none of these announcements will translate into the new houses we desperately need, and in the meantime, they’ve legislated the life out of the property market – whether you want to buy, build or rent, there’s no appealing prospects left.

“Recent ill-considered rental reforms are already causing confusion and uncertainty in the market, and we question whether they deliver on their intention to benefit tenants.

“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.”

Ms Mercorella called on both parties to use State Budget week to move beyond short-term sweeteners and to lay out a long-term vision for Queensland housing.

“We need an accountable delivery plan from both parties that will provide the pathways to secure housing for Queensland, supported by necessary infrastructure and services,” she said

“While we welcome the setting of targets, it means nothing without accountability – the government should commit to open and transparent monthly reporting against set KPI’s.

“This will ensure that houses added to the social housing tally represent additional supply and are not just repurposed dwellings from other parts of the housing market.

“Additionally, we would like to see a budget that builds and encourages pathways to home ownership. The Homes for Queenslanders plan barely touches on this with Queensland holding 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.

“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.”

  1. 8731.0 Building Approvals, Australia Table 03. Number of dwelling units approved, by sector, all series – QLD
  2. 8752.0 Building Activity, Australia TABLE 36. Number of Dwelling Unit Commencements by Sector, States and Territories: Original
  3. 8752.0 Building Activity, Australia TABLE 39. Number of Dwelling Unit Completions by Sector, States and Territories: Original
  4. Building Activity, Australia, June 2023 | Australian Bureau of Statistics ( – Table – “AVERAGE DWELLING COMPLETION TIMES”
  5. Gold Coast property market: Average unit price increases $500,000 in just six months, new report reveals | Gold Coast Bulletin


Media enquiries:

Claire Ryan, Media and Stakeholder Relations Manager, The Real Estate Institute of Queensland

M: 0417 623 723 E:

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