DEMAND for new homes in Bendigo skyrocketed during the second half of 2020 due to the federal HomeBuilder grant, industry figures say.
Builders say they have taken on more projects, but it has been a challenge to meet the surge.
Master Builders Victoria has warned that some builders were struggling to keep up with demand for skilled tradespeople, experiencing significant delays securing concreters, joiners and bricklayers.
Todd Newman Builders owner Todd Newman said the business had an "insane" amount of enquiries during the first six months of the program, more than double what it would normally.
Mr Newman said he worried some builders would struggle to keep up with the increased demand and perform the work to a high level of quality, due to the grant timeframes.
He said his business had increased the number of builds by about 15 to 20 per cent for the year, but even that was stretching resources.
Mr Newman said he took the decision not to increase workload further, as it might affect trade supply and other logistics.
He said it was great that the economy was booming, but deadlines within HomeBuilder put pressure on builders to meet certain dates.
"It's really weird. It's like we're having the best business boom we've ever had and may ever see, yet you're living on a bit of an edge," Mr Newman said.
"There's no doubt we're making the most of it, but the added pressure's come with it ... you're forced to meet deadlines, you've got to turn dirt on certain dates."
The federal HomeBuilder program offered a $25,000 grant for people entering a contract to build or renovate before December 31, or $15,000 by March 31, within certain eligibility criteria.
MBV statistics show 69 per cent of builders are experiencing trade delays. The average delay was 15 days to secure a concreter, bricklayer or joiner.
Paul Gray Builders managing director Paul Gray said enquiries had increased by nearly 100 per cent in the first six months of HomeBuilder.
Mr Gray said the flow on effects of the grant would go to all tradespeople and suppliers, as workload had increased across the industry.
Murray Wearne Builders owner Murray Wearne said his business was booked out for 12 to 18 months, demand had been so high.
He believed HomeBuilder had helped the building industry by giving people he confidence to go out and build a home.
Mr Wearne said the business had taken on a few more homes than usual, but there was no point taking on work he couldn't do.
He said tradespeople were definitely in high demand, but those used by his business were loyal, so it hadn't affected work.
Mr Wearne said demand was even strong in homes with a price threshold to high to meet the grant's eligibility requirements.
He said this was driven in part by people wanting to leave Melbourne and move to regional areas such as Bendigo.
McCarthy Homes salesperson Rowan Gillespie said the peak push with the HomeBuilder grant was before Christmas, when people could still access the full $25,000.
Mr Gillespie said the business's workload had increased, but it had made sure to manage it in a way to not stretch itself. He said tradespeople's availability was an issue.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
- Bookmark bendigoadvertiser.com.au/
- Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines newsletters
- Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/BgoAddy
- Follow us on Instagram instagram.com/bendigoadvertiser/
- Follow us on Google News