Choosing a builder who is right for you in 2023.
It’s been no secret that the building industry has seen massive highs over the last few years but it’s what’s coming that you should be wary of when it comes to choosing a builder who is right for you.
As soon as pandemic restrictions lifted, Australia was introduced to a newfound freedom when it came to working from home and what that meant for lifestyle and affordability. Between 2021 and 2022 owner-occupier variable housing rates were the lowest they had been in 5 years and the ability to work from home allowed people to move further out of the city.
The median sale price of housing in Victorian suburbs started to rise. Popular coastal areas like Torquay saw some of the largest price hikes, rising in median sale price from $750k in Q4 2017 to $1.4 million by Q4 2022. By 2019 this price hike trajectory was in motion, and it was a buyer’s market. The availability of land, low interest rates and the urgency to purchase something before prices increased beyond reach resulted in one of the biggest home-building booms in Australia’s history.
The building industry struggled with the increase in demand. Start dates were pushed out, supply chains were interrupted delaying build materials, weather and illness added to pipeline issues and rapidly escalating build costs put many builders out of business. According to a recent article, there is currently 100,000 detached houses being built in Australia which is a huge increase from the 60,000ish houses we’d usually have under construction pre-pandemic. Many of the builders who have gone under simply couldn’t sustain a profitable business and the lag in income with growing expenses and a backlog of residential houses still in the process of completion.
How is Levonix Homes able to withstand the pressures of the building industry?
We can’t say that we were completely untouched by the downturn of the construction industry. Like the rest of the industry, we have certainly been impacted by supply chain, weather and contractor disruptions. Regardless, we can say with absolute confidence
that there were decisions we made early on that safeguarded our clients and ensured delivery of all of our builds. These processes go through a constant assurance cycle to help us give realistic expectations around our pricing, quality, and delivery. A key part of this process was keeping our build numbers capped (even when demand was high) and focus on quality rather than quantity. These processes remain to this day and allow us to continue to offer this build confidence to our clients.
What’s to come in the industry?
Last year was only the beginning of what is set to be the worst year in a decade for the residential construction industry. The major players in the build industry are most at risk of cash flow, impacted build times and trade shortages due to the sheer volume of resources and trades required to fulfil their pipeline. HIA’s latest Economic and Industry Outlook Report (released February 2023) said that not only has building a new home dropped off, but construction companies are going to face tough times when the market threatens to put them out of business.
What to do if you plan to build this year
Don’t be discouraged by this article. Interest rates come in ebbs and flows and a decrease in the number of people choosing to build can work to your advantage when it comes to lead times, supplies and choice of builder.
Putting trust into a builder is hard to do at the moment. We get it. It’s going to be tough on everyone in the building industry. Go into this process knowing the current build climate. It may take patience at times but all builders want to see you in your new home as quickly and painlessly as possible. Their reputation literally relies on this fact.
Do your homework and ask the right questions. Choose the builder that is right for you. It’s important to get a good feel for your builder. Do you trust them? Do they understand your needs on a personal level? Test their lines of communication – this will be VERY important during your build. Speak to the owner if you can.
Questions to ask
- Do they cap their build numbers?
- What does their pipeline look like?
- Land titling aside, can they give you a straight answer when you ask what the build lead time on your new home will be?
This is only the starting point. You should have lots of questions and your builder should offer you complete transparency when it comes to what they’re offering you.
A bit about Levonix Homes
Levonix Homes is family-run builder. Our team are local to the Geelong, Bellarine and Surf Coast areas. Our close-nit team is here to speak with you directly, over the phone or in person. Our owners Zach and Jen regularly contact clients to answer any questions or check in on their builds. We cap our build numbers to ensure quality, delivery and consistency with our builds and we only build within a 50km radius of our Torquay base to ensure that personalised service is within our direct reach.
To learn more about our build process, talk to us today. We’re ready for any and all questions you may have.
Visit us at the Austin Lara Display Village
Call us on 1300 804 410
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Surf at www.levonixhomes.com.au