Home Building To Decline 20%
Labour and materials shortages are set to pinch home supply.
Labour and materials shortages are set to pinch home supply.
Australia is staring into the headwinds of a ‘shallow’ 20% decline in housing construction over the next three years as building materials and labour shortages extend building timeframes — despite higher borrowing costs and affordability problems cutting demand, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA).
The decline from 229,000 housing commencements in the 2021 calendar year to an estimated 183,800 in 2024 is projected based on unemployment remaining at low levels and an extension of construction times from 8.3 months to 12.2 months on average.
However, different sectors of the housing market should be expected to behave differently. A 34% decline in detached houses starts through to 2025 will be offset by an increase in apartment commencements and other attached homes — buy 14% — by 2026 as immigration increases, according to HIA’s quarterly forecast.
“Ongoing strong demand for homes is assisting builders to trade through this cycle, but rising borrowing costs and slowing demand will increase cash flow pressures, before the availability of materials improves,” the HIA report says.
“The combined impact of higher interest rates, increased cost of a new home and capacity constraints will see the volume of homes commencing construction slow to a trough in 2025.”
The decline in home building is forecast to last for 13 quarters — longer than the typical two-year fall according to the HIA.
Following a peak of 141,150 detached home starts, the total will fall to 128,790 this year and then slip 5.2% in 2022. Higher interest rates will dampen demand with commencements cut to 108,890 in 2024 before bottoming out at 99,350 in 2025.
Attached home starts will rise 1.2% in the financial year 2023, and 3.9% in 2024 to reach 80,700 from last year’s 74,350.
The market should expect 4.3% of further growth in 2025 and 4% in 2026 bringing the total to 87,560.
Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’
Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual
You’ll never guess where they found a little extra room when renovating this west coast house
There was a time, not too long ago, when the most important must-have for would-be renovators was space. It was all about space to be together and space to be apart.
But as house prices increase across the country, the conversation has started to shift from size for the sake of it towards more flexible, well-designed spaces better suited to contemporary living.
For the owners of this 1920s weatherboard workers’ cottage in Fremantle, the emphasis was less on having an abundance of room and more about creating cohesive environments that could still maintain their own distinct moods. Key to achieving this was manipulating the floorplan in such a way that it could draw in light, giving the impression at least of a larger footprint.
See more stories like this in the latest issue of Kanebridge Quarterly magazine. Order your copy here
Positioned on a site that fell three metres from street level, the humble four-room residence had been added to over the years. First order of business for local architect Philip Stejskal was to strip the house back to its original state.
“In this case, they were not quality additions,” Stejskal says. “Sometimes it is important to make sure later additions are not lean-tos.”
The decision to demolish was not taken lightly.
“Sometimes they can be as historically significant as the original building and need to be considered — I wouldn’t want people to demolish our addition in 50 years’ time.”
Northern light hits the site diagonally, so the design solution was to open up the side of the house via a spacious courtyard to maximise opportunities to draw natural light in. However, this had a knock-on effect.
“We had to make space in the middle of the site to get light in,” Stejskal says. “That was one of the first moves, but that created another issue because we would be looking onto the back of the neighbouring building at less appealing things, like their aircon unit.”
To draw attention away from the undesirable view, Stejskal designed a modern-day ‘folly’.
“It’s a chimney and lookout and it was created to give us something nice to look at in the living space and in the kitchen,” Stejskal says.
“With a growing family, the idea was to create a space where people could find a bit of solitude. It does have views to the wider locality but you can also see the port and you can connect to the street as well.”
A garden tap has also been installed to allow for a herb garden at the top of the steps.
“That’s the plan anyway,” he says.
Conjuring up space has been at the core of this project, from the basement-style garaging to the use of the central courtyard to create a pavilion-like addition.
The original cottage now consists of two bedrooms, with a central hallway leading onto a spacious reception and living area. Here, the large kitchen and dining spaces wrap around the courtyard, offering easy access to outdoor spaces via large sliding doors.
Moments of solitude and privacy have been secreted throughout the floorplan, with clever placement of built-in window seats and the crow’s nest lookout on the roof, ideal for morning coffee and sunset drinks.
The house has three bedrooms, including a spacious master suite with walk-in robe and ensuite overlooking the back garden. Adjustable blades on the bedroom windows allow for the control of light, as well as privacy. Although the house was designed pre COVID, it offers the sensibility so many sought through that time — sanctuary, comfort and retreat.
“When the clients came to us, they wanted a house that was flexible enough to cater for the unknown and changes in the family into the future,” Stejskal says. “We gave the owners a series of spaces and a certain variety or moods, regardless of the occasion. We wanted it to be a space that would support that.”
Mood has also been manipulated through the choice of materials. Stejskal has used common materials such as timber and brick, but in unexpected ways to create spaces that are at once sumptuous but also in keeping with the origins of the existing building.
Externally, the brickwork has been finished in beaded pointing, a style of bricklaying that has a softening effect on the varied colours of bricks. For the flooring, crazy paving in the courtyard contrasts with the controlled lines of tiles laid in a stack bond pattern. Close attention has also been paid to the use of veneer on select joinery in the house, championing the beauty of Australian timbers with a lustrous finish.
“The joinery is finished in spotted gum veneer that has been rotary cut,” says Stejskal. “It is peeled off the log like you peel an apple to give you this different grain.”
Even the laundry has been carefully considered.
“The laundry is like a zen space with bare stone,” he says. “We wanted these different moods and the landscape of rooms. We wanted to create a rich tapestry in this house.”
The owners now each experience the house differently, highlighting separate aspects of the building as their favourite parts. It’s quite an achievement when the site is not enormous. Maybe it’s not size that matters so much after all.
An influx of people could calm future volatility.
Adidas might sell its struggling Reebok brand, potentially taking advantage of the strength of athletic goods, which have been a bright spot in apparel during the Covid-19 crisis. On Monday, Adidas (ticker: ADDYY) said it was reviewing Reebok’s future, which could include a sale. The news comes ahead of the company’s five-year blueprint, which it is …
Continue reading “Why Now Might Be A Good Time For Adidas To Sell Its Reebok Brand”