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HomeBuilder ensures builders remain occupied for some time

Photo: Ginasanders
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AUSTRALIAN PCI has fallen by 2.7 points to 59.1 points in April, after reaching a record high in the previous month.

In March, the Australian Industry Group and HIA Australian Performance of Construction Index (PCI) hit a its highest level since the survey begun in 2005 and despite dropping over April, still suggests a speedy recovery from 2020 results.

“Activity across all four segments of construction remained expansionary in trend terms, due to the very high pace of recovery recorded throughout Q4 of 2020 and Q1 of 2021,” read the Australian Performance of Construction Index report for April.

With the HomeBuilder scheme ending, builders drove the activity index up by 5.1 points, reaching a record high in April of 62.8 points.

New orders are however expected to have reach its peak by the end of Homebuilder and will fall, though the surge in activity will leave builders occupied.

Activity in apartments is still lagging behind but recovering at 54.6 points, up 1.1 from March. While Commercial building activity fell by 2.0 points to 51.4 points, falling for a second consecutive month.

While the employment index fell by 3.9 points to 59.2 points and new orders fell by 7.7 points to 57.0 points, after a reaching record levels in March, these figures are still strong in line with the elevated average wages index which fell by 6.4 points to 65.4.

Construction capacity utilisation was up by 0.1% to 81.4%, compared to a 12-month average of 16.7%.

The construction supplier deliveries index fell from a March high by 6.1 points to 56.0 points, though again is still elevated compared to recent and historical averages.

Despite generally elevated levels, builders continue to report a shortage of skilled contractors, as well as key supplies and components.

“They also report rising input prices, freight delays and high freight charges. Home builders remain wary of a post-HomeBuilder demand slump but are hopeful that low interest rates and other factors will help to support demand,” read the report.

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