Coffs Harbour's residential building approvals to March 2012 have dropped by more than 20% compared to the same period a year before.
Coffs Harbour's residential building approvals to March 2012 have dropped by more than 20% compared to the same period a year before.

Building approval numbers drop

A SLUMP in residential building approvals in Coffs Harbour has been more than offset by a massive surge in commercial development.

The City Council's June Economic Update has highlighted the underlying strength of the local economy while also explaining why some builders and contractors are having trouble finding work.

For the year to March 2012 residential building approvals stood at 243, a reduction of 21.6% on the previous 12 month period.

The total value of dwelling approvals was approximatley $82.5 million, with the average cost of new homes sitting at $123,580 - a fall of 14.1% on the previous 12 month period.

At the same time non-residential building approvals totalled $85.2 million, a massive 81.5 % increase on the year to March 2011.

The report also points to strong economic performances across most industry sectors.

The estimated industry turnover to March 2011 was $2.1 billion, a rise of 1.8% on the same period to March 2011.

Average turnover per business was up 1.6% to approximately $380,000

Of 20 identified local industry sectors, six performed below the benchmark set in the 12 months to March 2011.

They were agriculture, forestry and fishing; manufacturing; accomodation and food services; transport, postal and warehousing; information, media and telecommunications and education and training.

The report also found that there had been a 1.2% increase in the total labour force to a level of approximately 34,011 people. During the same period the unemployment rate fell by 6.4%. 

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