FAR Northern building approvals continue to rise but industry leaders say there is still a long road to
Residential approvals rose 45 per cent to 77 in December 2011, up from 54 for the same period in 2010, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The total number of houses approved in December in the Far North included 14 on the Cassowary Coast, 15 on the Tableland, 11 at Weipa, three at Port Douglas and 26 in Cairns.
Resource boom towns continued to lead the way in Queensland for building approvals with Mackay recording 128 and 127 for the Fitzroy and Central region.
The Far Northern increase follows on from November, when 73 new homes were given the green light.
The Cairns region and the Cassowary Coast continue to show slow signs of recovery and despite a positive outlook at the end of the last year, industry leaders said confidence had taken a turn for the worst again with recent events in the global economy.
"Lack of confidence is hurting the industry. Confidence has noticeably fallen and it is mainly because of what's going on globally," Ash Moseley, of Ash Moseley Homes, said.
"People are keeping their money in their pockets."
Steve Drabsch of East Coast Designer Builders said cyclone Yasi had kept many builders "providing bread for the table".