Homeowners warned: resist urge to do it up

Homeowners around the country are being warned against picking up renovation tools right now as strong demand pushes costs higher.

Renovations currently represent the strongest portion of the residential building world, coinciding with a broader construction boom. This is having a flow-on effect to the price of mat­erials and the ability to secure trades people.

In the past year, the value of home renovations hit a 21-year high on the back of low lending rates and pandemic stimulus, such as HomeBuilder. Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed $2.87bn was spent on property alterations and additions in the year to July, up 24.5 per cent on last year.

Timber is causing the biggest headaches, said Master Builders Australia chief executive Denita Wawn. While general product delays nationally are sitting around three weeks on average, timber deliveries are about eight to 10 weeks behind, with some reports of up to three months.

The average cost of product and trade is also up between 8 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.

“Lockdowns and hard borders are making building product and skilled trade shortages and delays worse by restricting movement and import of goods and labour,” Ms Wawn said.

AMP chief economist Shane Oliver said the pandemic had caused discretionary spending to be diverted from services like hairdressers and travel to ­physical goods, including building and cars. This global trend had put increased pressure on manufacturers.

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