The building industry said Queensland is on the right track with the introduction of the ABCD framework. It has also called for a longer term solution in the form of an independent adjudicator. Image – Canva.
  • While first home buyer numbers fell, loans to investors grew 36% in a year
  • Trade and materials shortage is still a major issue
  • Industry has called for an independent adjudicator

Investor confidence in new homes remains strong, according to the latest home loans data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

New home loans for investors grew 9% over the three months to May 2021, and a 36% rise on May 2020’s figures.

This comes as first home buyers cooled their heels. Lending to owner-occupiers dived 19% since the HomeBuilder and Regional Home Building boost grants came to an end back in March.

Master Builders Queensland said the increased investor activity occurred against a backdrop of ongoing shortages and increasing costs, which showed no signs of easing. This has put even more pressure on the state’s building industry.

Today, Master Builders Queensland welcomed the new Accelerated Builder/Consumer Dispute framework (ABCD) created by the Queensland government.

“Opening the lines of communication and equipping builders and consumers with the right information to discuss reasonable and realistic solutions to time delays (and hopefully price increases) will do much to achieve better outcomes for both parties.”

Paul Bidwell, Deputy CEO, Master Builders Queensland

While a mediation process is a step in the right direction, the idea of a longer-term solution in the form of an independent adjudicator was raised.

“We’ve floated the idea of a rapid dispute resolution process with Minister Mick de Brenni, providing residential builders with access to independent adjudication (instead of mediation), which already exists in the commercial sector.”

“It would need to be fair to both parties, readily accessed, reach decisions quickly and have the statutory power to enforce decisions. Ideally, it would be used to solve payment disputes over defective work, as well as delays and proposed time extensions on contracts.” Mr Bidwell said.

“Amid the chaos, there’s an opportunity to explore a permanent, comprehensive dispute resolution process to deal with these issues for the long term.”

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