By JR on Saturday, February 18, 2012
FAR Northern home buyers are avoiding building new houses because of the cost of government sustainability requirements. That's the findings of the latest Master Builders Regional Survey of Industry Conditions report for the December quarter.
Nearly half the builders surveyed found the increased cost of new housing over existing homes was deterring people from buying or building. "The raft of new requirements (six star, water tanks, etc) imposed on new housing in recent years has added substantially to the cost of building a new home," the report said.
"There are real concerns that the introduction of the carbon tax will further aggravate the differential and encourage people to choose established homes over new homes, despite the fact that the environmental performance of new homes is frequently superior to many older homes."
Master Builders Cairns regional manager Ron Bannah said the extra costs imposed by government requirements were becoming "a real issue". He said water tanks were a waste of money in the Far North. A $7000 3000 litre water tank took less than an hour to fill in a monsoonal downpour and then overflowed, Mr Bannah said.
He said the lack of ventilation in new homes, such as fewer windows and airflow in the roof, because of insulation and other sustainability demands, was causing mould.
Mr Bannah said a carbon tax would add up to $9000 to the cost of a $450,000-$500,000 home.
The waste levy for dumping material from blocks of land was another cost of $30 a metre. "It used to be a $500 exercise, now it's at least three times that," he said.
Dixon Homes managing director Andrew Thomas said most new home buyers accepted the increases as part of the overall price of homes.
He said it was causing people to consider an established home but many still preferred a new home because of lower maintenance costs and they were more energy efficient and modern.