Perth’s labour shortage causing construction delays


Skill shortages are dampening the overall supply of apartments in Perth, with more than a third of approved projects currently on hold.

A study from the Property Council of Australia revealed that around 10,000 apartments have been delayed due to a lack of manpower to take on the job.

Furthermore, around $2.2bn worth of apartment projects have yet to achieve development approval.

Property Council WA Executive Director Sandra Brewer said the delay in the construction of approved apartment projects has a significant impact on affordability.

“Swift action is required to avert a future housing and affordability crisis,” she said.

Supply constraints have pushed the median price within 10 kilometres of Perth CBD to more than $1m.

Furthermore, the average Perth family now required to save for an extra two years to cover house price rises over the last 12 months alone.

According to CoreLogic’s latest housing value index, Perth’s median dwelling value increased by 0.4% monthly and 13.1% annually in December to reach $528,551.

“Despite positive policy announcements during the pandemic, like the WA Building Bonus and stamp duty rebates for apartments sold off-the-plan, years of undersupply and underinvestment have put pressure on house prices,” Ms Brewer said.

“As housing becomes more expensive, people move down the property ladder, escalating demand for social housing and puts more people at risk of homelessness.”

Ms Brewer said there is a need for policies that could provide long-term solutions for housing supply. These policies should prioritise population growth, address labour shortages, remove barriers to investment and develop alternative housing models.

“We know housing affordability is influenced by many interrelated factors that cannot be addressed in isolation,” she said.

“Periods of rapid economic growth have shown us that fixing housing affordability requires policy focused on workers first – because, without workers, property markets cannot deliver the homes people need.”

Photo by @solimonster on Unsplash.

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