Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Building materials soar in price amid supply shortages

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Building materials soar in price amid supply shortages


The cost of building materials is soaring amid record house-and-land sales

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Homebuyers have been urged to negotiate fixed-price contracts as the cost of building materials soars, with some key products like plumbing undergoing several price hikes in recent months.

Government building incentives and low interest loans have had a huge impact but so too have other COVID-related issues.

“There is no doubt we are seeing significant upward pricing pressures particularly since November 2020,” Metricon Queensland general manager Luke Fryer said about South East Queensland.

Metricon Queensland general manager Luke Fryer.

“A fixed price contract is an absolute key as inflationary and cost increases through both supply chain and trade are significantly more than they have been in previous years.”

He said the building industry costs were now at double the normal inflation rate.

Mr Fryer reported some Metricon suppliers were having logistical problems due to material importing delays or because of production slowdowns as a result of enforced factory shutdown periods.

Master Builders regional manager Nicola Scott said timber frame costs had gone up 10 to 18 per cent and there have been three price increases in plumbing hardware in the last three months.

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“There is a shortage of timber whiteboard for cabinet carcasses, delays in window supply requiring additional certified site visits, roofing costs increasing significantly with delays being experienced and 30 per cent increase for block layers,” she added.

Ms Scott also said trade shortages were being reported, particularly carpenters and tilers.

“It’s purely as a result of demand outstripping supply in addition to the complications that many manufacturers have had due to COVID,” Mr Fryer said.

Luckily, many of the major manufacturers have been proactive in securing their supply chain. Since November Metricon has been purchasing key items immediately a customer’s fixed-price contract is signed, well ahead of the construction start.

Ms Scott recommended before a person entered a construction or renovation contract for works over $3300, they get more than one quote, seek legal advice and contact QBCC to check the service provider has a current licence.

And be prepared to compromise on fittings choices Ms Scott added.

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There are few signs the industry is going to slow down in the near future.

“The once feared waterfall of the end of Homebuilder is now no fear at all,” Mr Fryer said.

By December, 60 per cent of his new home sales were to Homebuilder grant holders.

Post-Christmas that number dropped to 30 per cent with more Queenslanders, who have sold their home to “domestic migrators”, sometimes for a tidy profit, now looking to build.