There is no denying that COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on Australian businesses, and the workers that the industries employ. While the construction industry persevered throughout the peak of COVID-19, contributing to keeping the economy running, the effects of the virus are now being felt within the industry. Building approvals fell 16.4% in May and are expected to decline further, predicting a 40% downturn by the end of the year. The industry is also experiencing impacts of travel restrictions, with demand from overseas migrants dropping to near zero.
To combat this effect, the government has implemented the HomeBuilder Program – a scheme which offers eligible Australians $25 000 to put towards their renovation or new build project. The scheme is there to support the 140 000 direct jobs and another 1 000 000 related jobs in the residential construction sector, while also encouraging Australians to contribute to the industry and further restimulate the sector.
In the latest data from the HIA, the program is offering promising results, with new home sales rising by 77.6% in June from a record low result in May. “The rebound in New Home Sales in June does not fully offset the dismal results of the preceding three months and we are cautious of over interpreting data from a single month. It is a clear indication that HomeBuilder will help protect jobs in the sector in the second half of 2020 and into 2021,” commented HIA Chief Economist, Tim Reardon. While more data is needed before accurate conclusions can be drawn about the impact of HomeBuilder on employment, the government intervention has sparked optimism that the 40% downturn in construction that was anticipated will be significantly improved and will consequently support industry employment.
The scheme can be accessed by those who are completing renovation works between $150 000 and $750 000, or those building a new home valued up to $750 000. If you are taking advantage of this renovation opportunity, or are starting to build from the ground up, contact Structerre today and we can help provide a multi-disciplinary service spanning from Geotechnical to Civil to Structural Engineering to Energy and Inspection Services. Our experience and ability to deliver an all in one package for our clients is what makes us stand out, as we value add by working with our clients to deliver on build costs and time savings.