Lot settlement times balloon in Queensland

It's now taking twice as long for home buyers to settle their housing lot purchases

Lot settlement times balloon in Queensland

Home buyers in south-east Queensland are waiting an average of seven months to settle their housing lot purchases amid labour woes, building shortages and a looming deficit in the supply of new homes.

A new report by greenfield specialist RPM Group found that the time from contract signing to settlement has ballooned to 208 days, according to The Australian Financial Review. That’s more than double the 96 days it took in 2021 and more than three times longer than in 2020.

Fewer than 18,000 lots were registered (or titled) last year, a figure that includes urban sites and units, AFR reported. That’s down significantly from the peak of 31,545 in 2017.

At the same time, a near-record 40,290 dwellings are currently under construction as builders work through the pipeline created by the last housing boom.

“Despite record construction activity across the state, south-east Queensland is failing to keep up with demand for residential lots,” RPM state managing director Clinton Trezise told AFR. “This is partly due to the combined impact of sustained demand, material shortages and labour constraints.”

While developers are struggling to meet their current workload Trezise said more development sites needed to be brought to market in high-demand areas to meet a looming shortage of new houses.

The state is expected to gain 766,000 new residents by financial year 2033, according to government forecasts.

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While 29,208 hectares of greenfield sites have already been slated for the development of 39,130 dwellings, Trezise said this land needs to be brought to market more quickly at the same time labour and material challenges are tackled.

“Both of these issues need to be addressed at a government and industry level … to ensure there is a pathway for efficient delivery of new land and dwellings as well as skilled labour to deliver it,” he told AFR. “If the regulatory bodies slow down unlocking new land now to let trade and supply chains catch up it’s just going to cause even bigger problems down the track for affordability.”

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