Image – Canva.
  • Timber shortages left 40% of builders waiting more than a month for supplies
  • Some materials cost 25% more
  • Delays and shortages could create critical issues in September and October

As Australia remains in the throes of a booming property market, data from one corner of the country crystalised what we are all concerned about.

Survey of industry

Master Builders Queensland surveyed the industry in June, the results of which showed the lead time across all key building materials continued to blow out.

All respondents said they were facing wide-ranging delays on timber, and 40% were waiting more than a month.

That doesn’t go to say houses of steel fared any better, the survey found delays to access steel is also reaching a critical level.

Costs up, number workers not

A quarter of respondents to the survey reported they were paying 25% more for timber and roofing materials, the cost of steel also moving up 10%.

Even if you’re able to get the materials now, there’s no guarantee that work will be done as available tradies are increasingly thin on the ground, with two out of three builders waiting more than a month for roof installers, and steelworkers, tilers, carpenters and bricklayers not far behind.

Master Builders Queensland Deputy CEO Paul Bidwell said the situation is dire, with concerns things could escalate later this year.

“Industry can only absorb these skyrocketing prices and delays for so long – and unfortunately, we’re predicting this situation could explode in our faces around September and October.”

Paul Bidwell, Master Builders Queensland Deputy CEO

With the 2032 Olympics now on the horizon, it adds confidence to the industry there is an ongoing pipeline of work. Mr Bidwell also noted that it was a good thing the games were still some way off.

Other news

Master Builders Queensland counted the potential cost of an industry shutdown in the sunshine state. The figures come as New South Wales is counting the cost of closing down the construction industry, which will reopen at the end of this month.

“Our research shows the industry would haemorrhage $761 million each week if it was forced to down tools, impacting more than 232,000 employees and over 77,000 businesses state-wide,” said Mr Bidwell.

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