The building material shortage has halted a build of tiny homes for homeless persons on the Sunshine Coast. These delays are prompting tenants to renew their rental leases, making the housing crisis worse. Builders are feeling pressured as they confront financial and mental health implications due to delays.
The building boom was intended to act as a veritable gold rush for builders, however high demand, price increases and delays have been incurring high costs.
Sunshine Coast builder Mitch Butler believed that 2021 would be a profitable year, but it is instead amongst the worst.
He stated he was losing an average $15,000 on every house he was constructing. He knows this crisis was unanticipated.
All of the frames and trusses, roofs, carpenters, concrete, etc., are increasing in price, he said, but the issue for [builders] is that a contract has been signed, so they’re required to pay the contract price.
A combination of high demand, timber-decimating fires and COVID-19-related logistic delays are causing the material shortages and the ensuing increase in prices.
In addition to costs for materials, Butler stated, builders were in danger of being asked to pay liquidated damages of $50 for every day a house build was delayed following the contractual end date.
He says he recently ordered a pair of frames and trusses from suppliers, with delivery set to take three and a half months.
This means that if a contract is signed to build a house in four months, he said, the builder will go over schedule.
The public needs to know about possible delays in housing, he says.
Master Builders Sunshine Coast regional manager Nicola Scott stated the consequent financial and mental health effects on builders were severe—especially if they must continue to absorb costs.
She stated that worried builders were calling her often, concerned by the scarcity of materials and the boosts in prices and they try to fulfill their contracts.
The delays are prompting severe flow-on effects, affecting everyone.
Retiree Jon Attenborough is building his dream home at Golden Beach, a short distance away from the waters of Pumicestone Passage.
Jon Attenborough does not wish to rent, but must until his home is completed — a situation that exerts more pressure on the Sunshine Coast’s tightened rental market.
The building material shortages have put off his move-in date and cost him approximately $15,000.
While he awaits the keys to his new house, he’s renting in a particularly tight rental markets—to the tune of 15 grand.
Presently, the rental vacancy rate on the Sunshine Coast is 0.4 per cent.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland stated that building delays pressuring tight rental markets, as people constructing new houses were forced to renew their rental leases.
For the most vulnerable, the crisis may mean no home for 2021.
Shack Community Centre’s Pastor Dale Dowler said the scarcity of building supplies had cast a delay on a housing project intended to shelter vulnerable males this winter. The issue surrounds timber and framing, as well as roofing.
The Nambour charity got $500,000 in federal government funding to construct self-contained units, dubbed tiny homes, for vulnerable males—giving them a better future. This year, though, it might not happen.