“My neighbours in Harrietville are building a house and they’ve had builders cancel on them, so I think what would it have been like if I had to build there. It would have been a nightmare,” Ms Brown said.
Amid Victoria’s home-building boom, those building and renovating are waiting longer for work to be completed, so volume home builders are now looking at solutions for faster builds. They include using materials other than bricks and mortar and prefabricating some of their home offerings.
Housing Industry Association chief economist Tim Reardon said things were looking particularly bleak for Victoria’s new home builders – at least for the next few years. “Probably at no time in the past has a builder been harder to get in Victoria than now,” Mr Reardon said. “The shortage of all trades is more severe than any other jurisdiction.”
Mr Reardon said the HIA’s Trades Report showed Western Australia and the Northern Territory were the only states and territories in Australia where trades were in surplus, following the decline of the mining boom.
Domain Group economist Trent Wiltshire said the demand for construction workers had grown significantly over the past three years. “Job vacancies in the construction industry have increased, indicating stronger demand for construction workers. There were 10,000 vacancies in 2015, now there are 16,000,” Mr Wiltshire said.