Tasmania’s home building frenzy, with no end in sight

Written by realestateview.com.au in Property News on July 14, 2021

A tradesman works on the roof of a home

The Latrobe Council approved 174 dwellings valued at nearly $55 million in the 11 months to May, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.

That put it ahead of Devonport (152) and Central Coast (120) as the North-West council area with the fastest growing pipeline of home building work.

Launceston had 354 dwellings approved in the same period, valued at $107.6 million.

That was the second highest total among the state’s 29 council areas.

West Tamar 241) and Meander Valley (199) were the North’s other leading hot spots.

Clarence (546) led easily in the South and statewide.

Also in the South, Kingborough (295), Glenorchy (246) and Sorell (228) topped 200.

There were 3839 dwellings approved statewide in the 11-month period, valued at $1.137 billion.

State Treasury analysis showed the 12-month average value of residential building approvals hit an all-time high in May in seasonally adjusted terms.

The nominal value of approvals had increased by 44 per cent in the year to May, compared with the previous year.

Builders remain flat out, with no end to the boom in sight.

Not that Hotondo Homes North-West director Luke Jones is complaining.

He said the current period was the busiest in the six years he had had the franchise.

“For us, we’ve been pretty consistent,” Mr Jones said.

“We haven’t seen a real downturn in the six years; this is definitely an upper.”

The volume of work is leading to shortages of tradespeople and some builders are grappling with that.

“We’ve got through because of good relationships with tradesmen and a good group of employees,” Mr Jones said.

He felt there had been a slight slowing in demand growth in the last two to three months, but much less than he had expected “once government grants began to fade”.

He suspected the grants had not only encouraged people who were eligible for them to build, but also some who were not eligible.

“I guess a percentage of people who have been thinking about building for some time have hit the panic button and said ‘We’d better do it now or we’re not going to get the land,’ or don’t want to miss out on getting their build started,” he said.

Mr Jones said last year’s bushfires and coronavirus had led to “an enormous shortage” of timber which was affecting the industry’s progress, but overall the situation was “really positive”.