HomeBuilder drives massive construction boom
The residential construction boom sparked by HomeBuilder will continue deep into 2022 according to Housing Minister Michael Sukkar.
Touring a street in Brisbane's northwest bustling with more than a dozen houses going up yesterday, Mr Sukkar said the industry was drawing in workers from commercial construction to meet surging demand.
Nearly 83,000 applications for the grants of up to $25,000 had been received, nearly double the early estimates for the program of about 42,000.
Queensland owner occupiers have been some of the most enthusiastic applicants with nearly 19,000 currently in the system. The scheme will end on March 31.
"We've converted a whole lot of renters into buyers, supported one million jobs and the sheer size of the program now means the industry will remain busy until at least until the middle of next year," Mr Sukkar said.
He said it was a "remarkable achievement" given there were fears in April last year of mass business closures and job losses in constructions as the country shut down to beat the pandemic.
Remarkably, Mr Sukkar is now tamping down suggestions the market could overheat as $2bn of government stimulus washes through construction sites around the country.
"The signs at the moment are that it's very busy but it's manageable," he said.
"Part of the reason is that there will be a transference of workforce from the commercial side of construction into residential.
"It will soak up that excess capacity on the commercial side so the industry as a whole will be healthy … we are confident that there's enough capacity to do the work."
Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn said it was not exaggerating to say the industry had been hurtling towards a cliff at the start of the pandemic as contracts were cancelled and sales dried up.
"We, in our wildest dreams, never expected the success that we've had," she said, referring to HomeBuilder.
Ms Wawn said the $2bn injection from HomeBuilder underpinned up to $20bn worth of building activity.
"It is a pipeline of work that has meant we can keep hundreds of thousands of people in their jobs but more importantly create new jobs," she said.
Originally published as HomeBuilder drives massive construction boom