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New home buyers face substantial cost increases from 1 October

Media release

New home buyers face substantial cost increases from 1 October

Media release
“The introduction of changes to the energy efficiency requirements in NSW will add substantial costs to the construction of a new home in NSW, estimated to be $20,000 - $40,000,” said David Bare, HIA Executive Director NSW.

"At a time when housing supply and affordability are the most challenging in our history, industry and homeowners should be afforded more time to implement and prepare for such significant changes.

"Whilst today’s announcement on some moderate transitional arrangements by NSW Planning Minister Paul Scully provides some relief, it will only address a limited number of building projects.

"HIA remains deeply concerned on the timing for adoption of the BASIX changes given the scale and complexity of reforms.

"Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania have all recognised the significant impacts to affordability of increased material and labour costs, interest rate rises and supply chain constraints.

"Providing the housing sector in those states with much needed relief by delaying implementation of the new energy targets.

"HIA calls on the NSW Government to follow the sensible lead of other states and provide a full 12-month delay for the BASIX Standards increases," said Mr Bare.

Why is a delay necessary in NSW?

The key reasons why industry is calling on the NSW Government for additional 12 month phase in period are:

  • The software tools that are critical for builders to accurately assess how to adjust existing designs to comply in a manner that will be at the lowest cost to consumers are not currently available despite the changes due to take effect in a manner of weeks.
  • The NSW Government DIY tool is still not formally launched, and available to use.
  • New build contract cancellations are double what they were 12 months ago as confidence levels and borrowing capacity of new home buyers has deteriorated due to interest rises. Further cost increases will only add more pressure.
  • Supply chain constraints have been a major issue throughout and emerging from the pandemic. HIA builder members have little confidence that supply chains can adjust to deliver the new products needed to comply with the energy targets without any delays and still without surety of the final cost impacts for their customers.
  • The return on investment for this change on new houses is measured in decades – not years.

"Given these issues, there is simply not enough lead time for the industry to prepare and adapt their plans, specification and contracts given the scale and complexity of the changes," said Mr Bare.

More time will allow industry to come up with cost effective solutions

"It is vitally important that industry has all the tools and criteria in place to enable it to deliver the BASIX changes at the lowest possible cost for new home buyers.

"The bottom line is that housing supply and affordability is being put at risk unnecessarily. The home building industry can adjust and deliver the most cost-effective solutions given sufficient time.

"HIA also called for the new energy measures to only be applied to contracts signed from the implementation date, to spare those already with fixed price contracts or with approved loans being blindsided by the additional retrospective compliance costs.

"We welcome the changes announced on this aspect by Minister Scully and urge the Government to adopt this approach in all such cases in the future," concluded Mr Bare.

For more information please contact:

David Bare

Executive Director - NSW
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