The shortage in building materials has struck an all-time low in Tasmania, with builders stating that construction projects are being abandoned.

Like all of Australia, building supplies are coming up short on the island state because of the pandemic.

Reasons faulted for the root of the shortages include elevating shipping expenses because of a shortage of vacant containers, elevating labour costs and record low interest rates that have inspired unrivalled demand for new housing stock across the nation.

The situation has been exacerbated by the housing boom ignited by incentives from the federal government, with certain builders informing developers that projects can’t commence on time while other projects are coming to a full stop half-built, especially in the residential sector.

Yet the logistics of transporting products across Bass Strait to Tasmania is worsening the problems of area builders.

Some projects, especially new houses and renovations, are not proceeding because of rising costs, Lifetime Homes Tasmania stated.

The supply shortage encompasses timber, cement sheet, glass, plasterboard and steel mesh reinforcement.

The shortage arrives amongst an increase in developments on the Apple Isle. A total of 63 non-residential jobs valued at $32.2 million were approved in Tasmania in April 2021, says the latest construction profile by the Master Builders of Tasmania.

Home prices in the year to May 2021 have escalated 16.5 per cent in Hobart, and 19.1 per cent in regional Tasmania, the report stated.

Local media has reported on distressed home owners, saying how builders have been taking shortcuts because of materials shortage, with awful consequences, including unsafe work.

Despite the shortages, the projects keep coming. Just last month, plans for a $100-million apartment, retail and accommodation development at Hobart’s Macquarie Point were unveiled.

The Tasmanian government picked Melbourne developer Milieu as the preferred development of The Escarpment, to be constructed below the Hobart Cenotaph.

The construction supply shortage is anticipated to improve during 2022 as supply of building materials from overseas returns.



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