Who would want to be a developer, or a buyer of a first home? Hard on the heels of news that interest rates are up to 9 per cent and the official cash rate is up 1.75 points since December 03 comes fee increases for building consents in the order of twenty to thirty percent, and higher prices for builders as their numbers dwindle following the introduction of the new Building Act.
The ironic thing about the new Building Act – beyond its banning of home maintenance and DIY for home-owners – is that the reason for the amendment of the Act was the hysteria about leaking homes.
Consider then that the higher profile leaking-homes cases were in the main designed by Registered Architects and built by Master Builders. The solution put in place by this Act is to add more red tape, and to make it mandatory to be a Registered Architect or a Master Builder. Top thinking.
As always, the more red tape the better it is for larger organisations, and the harder it is for smaller firms, especially one-man band operations. Look forward then to the number of builders leaving the industry, even as the market for builders divides itself up as it does in places such as the UK into ‘suits’ and ‘cowboys’ - hidebound suit-wearing larger firms who cost a lot, and smaller firms offering affordable work but on a ‘black-market’ basis, and often without consumer protection.
In any case, the cost and complexity of building is going to increase. Blame the Building Act 2004