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Building approvals go boom in November, led by spike in units

first_imgBuilding approvals jumped in November, driven by a boost in unit approvals. Image: AAP/Justin Sanson.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus22 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market22 hours agoPermits to build houses fell 2 per cent from a month earlier, while approvals for apartments and other dwellings rose by 30.6 per cent during the month.The overall increase in approvals nationally was largely driven by Victoria, with Queensland and New South Wales recording month-on-month declines.Queensland has seen a sharp uplift in apartment construction in recent years.“Dwelling approvals have continued to rise in recent months, which has been driven by renewed strength in approvals for apartments,” ABS director of construction statistics Justin Lokhorst said. “Approvals for private sector houses have remained stable, with just under 10,000 houses approved in November 2017.”Housing Industry Association senior economist Shane Garrett said the result was “remarkably robust” even though the multi-unit approvals could vary hugely from month to month.“The geographic reach of November’s expansion was quite narrow with Melbourne’s booming market accounting for the lion’s share of the increase nationally,” Mr Garrett said.Australia’s housing market is expected to slow this year as prices soften amid tighter lending restrictions.Most economists also expect interest rates to rise toward the end of the year. BRISBANE SET FOR FIRST $20M HOME SALE Apartments under construction in Newstead, Brisbane. Building approvals jumped in November driven by a spike in unit approvals. Photo: Glenn Hunt.A SURPRISINGLY strong lift in building approvals has renewed hope there might be life left in the residential construction cycle after all.Approvals for the construction of new homes rose 11.7 per cent in November from October, driven by a sharp spike in unit approvals, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Statistics. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE Approvals to build or renovate houses and apartments gained 17.1 per cent from a year earlier.Economists had been expecting them to fall by 1.3 per cent.last_img read more

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Antigua-Barbuda ambassador a ‘no show’ before PAC

first_img Tweet Share Sharing is caring! Share Sharecenter_img 142 Views   no discussions Ambassador David Shoul. Photo credit; caribarena.comST JOHN’S, Antigua — Ambassador David Shoul failed to make an appearance before the Antigua and Barbuda Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday afternoon, after being summoned by the chairman of the committee.Shoul was asked to prepare himself by bringing certain relevant documents and to be ready to answer questions from the chairman of the committee. The PAC had invited Shoul to provide answers regarding the US$52.5 million Chinese power plant recently constructed at Crabbs Peninsula. The PAC is established by Section 98 of the Constitution, which mandates a review of all government spending by examining and considering government accounts. The chairman of that committee is always the leader of the parliamentary opposition.Former prime minister and current leader of the opposition, Lester Bird, as chairman, wrote to Shoul one week earlier, seeking to question him on the Chinese power plant, since the ambassador has been credited by Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer with playing a pivotal role in the negotiations for the plant. Shoul had a letter delivered to the office of the leader of the opposition on Monday, indicating only that he had received the former prime minister’s letter. On Tuesday afternoon, the PAC members waited in vain for Shoul to show up. All the written questions were instead handed to the auditor for onward transmittal to the ambassador. Negotiations for the Chinese power plant began in 2008, when a price tag of US$18 million was initially mentioned. The amount climbed to US$30 million by the time a funding agreement was entered into with the Export/Import Bank of China in June 2008. Later adjustments took the cost to US$47 million. The total cost has now climbed to US$52.5 million. Examination of the installed plant has shown that the engines, the alternators and other parts of the plant are not new, though both Shoul and Spencer have each claimed otherwise. In fact, they both deem questioning of the quality of the delivered plant, by the opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP) and thousands of Antiguans and Barbudans, as unpatriotic and diminishing of the relations between China and Antigua and Barbuda. Bird has promised to continue to pursue answers and to seek to get to the bottom of the issue.By Caribbean News Now contributor NewsRegional Antigua-Barbuda ambassador a ‘no show’ before PAC by: – January 27, 2012last_img read more