Tradespeople shift to homeowner to reduce risk
Tradespeople shift focus from developers to homeowners to reduce risk
Statistics NZ reports that home-building approvals slumped to a 22 year low in August. The trend for the number of new dwellings, including apartments, has been falling since mid-2007, and is down 42 percent since then, increasing unemployment and underemployment in the building trades.
There are still pockets of growth in the market. Builderscrack.co.nz director Keith Roberts said that homeowners were becoming more focused on improving the appearance of their homes before putting them on the market "the number of homeowners posting small renovation or home improvement jobs to spruce up the appearance of their homes has doubled since this time last year, which the number of major renovations is down by ~50%". Fellow director Mark Dickson added "tradespeople are finding it tougher, so are much more active in seeking smaller jobs from customers - it is a good time to get those jobs done if you can afford it".
Tradespeople we spoke stated that it was becoming more attractive to do smaller jobs for homeowners. "Working for a large developer that expects us to put a lot of money into the job before we get paid is getting more risky - a lot of guys have lost money when developers have gone bankrupt". Having a number of smaller jobs on the go is becoming more attractive as financial markets sieze up and more and more developers teeter on the edge of insolvency.