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16 February, 2021

Home building boom causes domino effect across region

THE house building industry is booming across the Tablelands with several building companies booked out months in advance creating a domino effect in the local economy.

By Rhys Thomas

BUILDING BOOM: Shane Smith Builders Work Supervisor Tony Martin overseeing Wayne Cardew and Levi Marsh’s work on one of their new homes under construction at Rayfield Estate in Mareeba.

THE house building industry is booming across the Tablelands with several building companies booked out months in advance creating a domino effect in the local economy. 

Even though 2021 has only just begun the housing market has exploded with new houses being commissioned faster than companies can build them. 

This is due to the introduction of the Australian Government’s HomeBuilder grant last year, giving Australians a subsidy to help build their dream homes. 

This has caused a massive spike and local builders have been completely inundated with orders. Some have even been booked out for three quarters of the year already. 

Director of Shane Smith Builder in Mareeba, Joanne Smith has even had to turn people away due to the number of orders they are currently processing. 

“We are in the terrible process of having to say to people that we cannot do anymore quotes currently,” she said. 

“It is still great to see the surge and it’s great for all the suppliers in town as well.

“There is a domino effect, and everyone is benefiting from it.” 

Prices of materials have also spiked in retaliation to the building spike and in turn has driven the price of building up as well, creating another domino effect working against home builders. 

Contractors are also feeling the effects of the building spike as there remains a finite number of contractors able to do the work. 

With the housing market in a current surge of development Mrs Smith is concerned that after a rise, comes a fall. 

“What I don’t want to see is that we end up with a big flop after it’s finished,” she said.

“Those really big peaks and troughs are what’s hard to deal with. 

“It’s much better when you keep a steady flow throughout the year.” 

Headley Homes Atherton Salesman Ray Mills said that they are working on building 23 homes in just one estate alone. 

“It’s a challenge at the moment with the quantity of work and the jobs to get through,” he said. 

“We are definitely a lot busier than usual; we are currently very busy with the Panorama Views Estate in Tolga. 

“It’s great to see all this business coming through that’s for sure.” 

The building spike has also affected residents securing their loans from banks as they struggle to keep up with the amount of people applying, this has made the process of securing a loan much longer than normal. 

HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. 

HomeBuilder assists the residential construction sector by encouraging the commencement of new home builds and renovations. 

Changes to the HomeBuilder program include: A $15,000 grant for building contracts (new builds and substantial renovations) signed between January 1 2021 and March 31, 2021, inclusive. 

An extended deadline for all applications to be submitted, including those applying for the $25,000 grant and the new $15,000 grant. Applications can now be submitted up until April 14, 2021 (inclusive).  

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