Tradies in high demand amid Shoalhaven building boom

Ray White Nowra director Craig Hadfield
Ray White Nowra director Craig Hadfield

Shoalhaven tradies have been in high demand, and renovators have been paying a premium for their services according to a local real estate expert.

Nowra Ray White director Craig Hadfield said the building industry’s booming, and builders and renovators have been feeling the pinch.

“Essentially, we’re in a boom, and as a result of that tradespeople are all busy,” he said.

“The cost they’re quoting has risen significantly.

“A client of mine is struggling to find a tiler.

"He lost two tilers off the job, they were offered more money on another job.”

In a decade, the local population has grown from around 90,000 to more than 100,000.

Mr Hadfield believes to population will continue to grow due to the housing affordability crisis gripping Sydney and Wollongong home buyers.

“Statistically, people are coming here in droves, I would suggest this is just the beginning of the boom,” he said.

“When the bypass is complete and the commute to Sydney is quicker, more people will come.”

Shoalhaven City Council felt the boom in May, and logged an "exceptional” number of development applications.

Mr Hadfield is concerned that council does not have the human resources to deal with the backlog of DAs in a timely manner.

Three council-employed building team staff members resigned recently, and there has been a shortage of building surveyors at council.

“I believe council’s having trouble coping with that number of approvals,” he said.

“Council’s understaffed at a time where there are a record number of development applications.”

Shoalhaven council development manager Cathy Bern said council’s DA turnover time has been longer than normal.

“Most applications are assessed in a timely manner but we also have a number of applications that are not straight forward,” she said.

“By way of example, we have complex subdivision applications with multiple issues such as traffic impacts and threatened species matters to consider.”