Wondered why it’s so hard to find a plumber?! Latest stats out show Australian property owners are continuing to spend big on upgrading their homes. For the third time in a row major renovation spending (substantial work requiring licensed contractors) rose in the September quarter. More than 10,300 households spent almost $900 million, the highest amount in two years, adding to the pressure on construction prices that’s preventing new housing supply coming online. Secure in their jobs but possibly spooked from moving by interest rate rises, home owners seem content to keep investing in improving their homes.
The resources boom has already sucked large numbers of Queensland tradies out to the mines – one mining town mayor says their key recruitment criteria is a heartbeat! – and while long overdue, new Queensland government infrastructure works are adding to construction industry demands. One major Brisbane plumbing contractor told us he’s knocking back 20% of requests due to staffing shortages so for your leaking tap and general maintenance the days of ‘getting a few quotes’ seem gone for now!
Our property managers keep the best tradespeople available by ensuring easy access to the home, paying them every week, and giving them plenty of info on the problem ahead of time. Renovated homes will improve owners’ lifestyles and their suburbs’ median sale prices, but with inner Brisbane’s population growing strongly what we really appear to need is a few shiploads of skilled tradespeople to build us new homes and apartments!
We believe the continued growth in construction prices can only result in a significant surge in property values where housing demand is at its strongest. The price differential between established and new is just not sustainable – and we don’t see those plumbers cutting their prices anytime soon!