Builders brace for busy year ahead in 2015

THE Sunshine Coast construction industry will hit the ground running when it returns to work from January 5 with builders reporting solid order books.

PJ Burns signed 12 new home contracts in the 10 working days before the break and even received an inquiry 7am, Christmas Day, from a purchaser with plans and a desire to get on with it.

It's a good start to a new year for a company that aims to build about 120 to 150 homes each year between Brisbane and Bundaberg.

Dwyer Quality Homes sales spokesman Scott Humphreys said momentum had been building since midyear.

Rather than drop off, Mr Humphreys is expecting demand to strengthen.

"This year we were fielding inquiries right up until we closed on December 19,'' Mr Humphreys said.

"We are going to hit the ground running with what's already on the books.''

Mr Humphreys said the two parts of the Dwyer business - Dwyer Quality Homes and Dwyer Property Investment - were in balance with both investors and "mum and dad" owner-occupiers active in the market.

PJ Burns spokeswoman Courtney Burns said the company built homes in the $400,000 to $800,000 range where there had been a big movement in the market.

"We're looking forward to a really good year,'' she said. "We've got six staff here working even while we are supposed to be closed, pushing through the new contracts so we'll be ready to go.''

Ms Burns said there was also a backlog of clients waiting for homes to be built as soon as new estates released lots.

"We can't get land fast enough on the Sunshine Coast,'' she said.

People looking for scarce land close to the beach at Kawana were now starting to buy old homes built 35 years ago and knock them down ahead of a complete rebuild.

Builder Clem Janssen, who focuses entirely on maintenance work, said he had been flat out immediately before Christmas.

Demand had picked up mid-year and had remained really busy.

That perspective is shared by another builder Tony Lyons who targets the renovation sector.

"I'm working now and am booked out until the end of April,'' the Mudjimba father-of-two said.

"Even last year the only lay days I could take was to play golf while waiting for gear."

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