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It’s a building boom

FINDING a house builder is not easy at present and the numbers well and truly confirm why – Glenelg Shire is well and truly in the middle of a building boom.

Local builders are experiencing their busiest period for a decade, with the demand largely driven by new homes.

Two sets of figures bear that out.

Victorian Building Authority statistics obtained by the Observer show that there were 359 building permits approved in the shire for 2020 for a total value of $54.53 million.

Both those figures are the best since 2010, but last year’s average per building permit was, at $151,890, the highest on record.

In 2010 there were nine permits approved for $1 million or more, whereas there were just three of those in 2020 – that points to a much more even spread last year, driven by new housing.

Separately, Glenelg Shire Council’s latest financial report shows that in the eight months to February, fees from building and planning permits were $184,000 more than budgeted for.

The council issued 330 permits last year, with a value of $63 million (the difference with the VBA figures is because the latter includes those that were applied for in 2019 but were not approved until 2020), and during the peak in the middle of the year its building unit received 100 inquiries a week for everything from renovations to new building.

With many of those permits now under construction, local residential builders confirm the figures on the ground.

Michael Hein of Forever Homes, the major house builder in the region, said at times the company was getting 15 calls a week from those wanting to build.

“We’re solidly booked for 2021 for every week of the year and that was all organised prior to October last year,” he said.

“We’ve been pushing to get a slab down every week-and-a-half.

“We’re now into next year for any new starts. To be honest I’ve never in my life seen such a boom in real estate.

“In comparison to six years ago the volume of housing that’s happening is probably about four or five times more right now.

FULL STORY IN FRIDAY'S OBSERVER

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