Australian builders are anticipating a recovery of sorts despite weak building conditions in the December quarter, Master Builders’ latest survey has revealed.
“The latest survey results show builders cautiously optimistic about their own business circumstances and the health of the Australian building and construction industry in 2011,” Master Builders chief economist Peter Jones said.
“Builders expect activity to improve even though their own business conditions remained essentially unchanged during the December quarter and most of the survey’s business expectations indicators remain well below their recent peaks.”
Display centre traffic/enquiries fell in the December quarter, albeit at a slower rate than in the previous quarter, and sales followed a similar pattern.
Builders’ backlog of work on the books remained remarkably resilient but can be expected to suffer as government stimulus work dries up.
Interest rate rises also remain a concern.
“The risk of heavy-handed interest rate policy presents a real threat to all sectors of building and construction, with the full impact of the latest rate rises still hanging over the industry.”
“Based on the survey results, Master Builders urges the Reserve Bank to keep interest rates on hold for an extended period until a private sector recovery in the building industry can regain momentum.”