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The building industry on the Bay islands is going from strength to strength.

Aided by a strong boost in building applications and approvals to Redland City Council, the industry is in a very stable position.

Increased sales of island land, low interest rates, and incentives for first home buyers have all combined to provide an environment for increased building activity.

Other factors that assist include Queensland State Government's incentives and improved development application procedures.

New home owners who intend to build a home and who qualify for the Great Start Grant can claim $15,000 towards the construction of their home.

The scheme has been introduced to deliberately provide a boost to the home construction industry.

And it is on the Bay Islands where home owners could obtain the most benefit.

"Because land are cheaper here on the Bay Islands, new home owners will gain far more from the $15,000 grant," says Ian Goddard of KCW Constructions.

Ian admitted that there had been considerable increased interest in building in recent times, particularly for a higher standard of home.

The improved financial prospects for home building will be helped even further with some planning initiatives that have come by way of State Government and Local Government co-operation.

There are some new players in the home building field with Freedom Homes and Zebra Design and Build now located on our islands.

Macleay Island building designer Martyn Osborn says that home builders no longer have to refer a town planning application to the Department of Environment and Resource Management if you are building within 100m.

"This initiative alone will save about 4-6 weeks in getting your DA.

"The more red tape that can be taken from the approval process the better it will be for island home building," the home designer says.

Terri Barclay of T.Barclay Real Estate says more and more people are discovering the benefits of living, buying land and building on the Bay Islands.

She says the $15,000 government grant for new home construction provides the opportunity for people who may not have considered building before to do so, and create their very own home.

"Building a new home means that everything is fresh and new; no one else has had the pleasure of living in your home but new home owners can design it just the way you like it, from the style of the building right down to the colour of the paint, whatever flooring you like, light fittings, everything."

Terri added: "Often when people buy an existing home they have so much that they wish to change. The bathrooms are not correct, the kitchen is not right and 9 times out of 10 the colour of the paint is just wrong. With a new home you have none of that; everything is to your taste exactly."

She says homes on the Bay Islands are priced very well at the moment, "but the extra $15,000 grant means that building a brand new home is now more affordable than buying a ‘second-hand home’."

"The lower price of island land made the situation even more inviting for first home buyers on the Bay Islands," Terri Barclay said.

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