Urbis Think Tank
Yes, residential construction times blew out in the 00s, but the trend has turned
A feature report from the ABS today has proven what we all thought – over the last 15 years, it’s been taking longer to build residential dwellings. Barbecue conversations about building inevitably turn to the issue of how hard it is to secure a builder, and “how long was your delay”. This report shows that from the mid 90s to late 2000s we weren’t imagining it.
In 2001, after the end of the 2000 boom, it took on average 5 months to construct a house. This rose to 7 1/2 months in 2009. For townhouses it was even starker. From 6 1/2 months in 2001, it took an average of 10 months to complete a townhouse in 2009.
Sharp drop in completion times in last year
In contrast to the barbecue conversations about delays, perhaps the clearest result has been the very sharp downturn in completion times over the past year. In only one year, it’s taking about a month less to construct a house and nearly two months less to construct a townhouse than it did at the peak of the boom in 2009. This matches anecdotal reports of some builders describing 2011 as a very slow year.
It’s worse in Western Australia
Over the last 15 years, it’s taken the longest to build houses in Tasmania, and the fastest to build in Qld. However, in the last 5 years the WA situation has become dire, with completion times for houses and townhouses blowing out dramatically, by around 10 weeks for a new house build and around 14 weeks for townhouses.
For further details, refer to the ABS Feature Article