Building grants create ‘unintended consequences’ for Perth’s overheated construction industry

Home Health Building grants create ‘unintended consequences’ for Perth’s overheated construction industry
Building grants create ‘unintended consequences’ for Perth’s overheated construction industry

It’s been 75 weeks since Perth couple Cassie and Julian Kirtisingham signed a contract to build a five-bedroom, two-bathroom house in the city’s southern suburbs.

Like many new home buyers, the couple signed up in late 2020 so they could take advantage of $20,000 WA government and $25,000 federal government stimulus grants designed to keep the construction industry alive during the pandemic.

The slab was laid in September last year, allowing them to qualify for the grants, and this was followed by the lower level of bricks in December.

But, as Ms Kirtisingham has documented on an Instagram account illustrating the realities of building a home in the current Perth market, there has been no building on their block since.

“Sadly, even though our timber has been sitting there for six weeks, we are at nearly 72 weeks and no work has been done since early December,” she posted in early April.

The slab of the Kirtisingham home
The slab for the Kirtisinghams’ home in Perth’s southern suburbs was laid in September 2021.(ABC News: Supplied)

Yet since they signed their contract, the couple said their builder had given them two price increases, two contract extensions and had notified them of another.

Cost of building home in Perth jumps 16 per cent

Theirs is not an unusual story in Perth’s overheated residential construction market, where the inflation rate is the highest of any capital city in the nation and the cost of building a new home rose by almost 16 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

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