THE HIA Trades Report for the March Quarter 2023 reveals Australia is still enduring one of its most acute shortages of skilled tradespeople on record according to HIA Senior Economist Tom Devitt.
The just released report provides a quarterly review of the availability of skilled trades and any demand pressures on trades operating in the residential building industry.
“The Report’s Trades Availability Index registered -0.75 for the March Quarter 2023, compared to 0.90 a year earlier,” added Mr Devitt.
“This still represents one of the most acute shortages of skilled tradespeople since HIA started this Report in 2003.
“The shortages are particularly acute in Australia’s regions and in trades like bricklaying, carpentry and roofing.
“As more workers arrive from overseas, home building and renovations timelines that have blown out during the pandemic will shrink.
The demand for and the supply of skilled tradespeople will approach equilibrium again.
“The rate of increase in the price of trades already appears to be moderating.
“The rates paid for skilled trades were increasing at 7.5 per cent per year during the pandemic, compared to just 2 per cent per year before the pandemic.
The last three quarters have seen this rate moderate, with the price of trades even declining by 0.03 per cent in the most recent quarter.
“As the volume of work currently underway remains large, the effects of consecutive rate hikes by the RBA have yet to reach the Index.
“It is anticipated that the RBA’s actions to date will result in a more significant easing of the shortage of trades later this year, as well as some more declines in the prices of trades.
“The current pipeline is progressively being completed, with an increasing number of projects being cancelled.
The number of new projects commencing construction is also set to fall to its lowest level in over a decade.
“This will see the volume of homes under construction shrink and demand for skilled trades fall,” concluded Mr Devitt.