WA tradies are seeing wages fall after mining boom

New data shows that the cost of tradesmen in building and construction had fallen in WA. Busselton tiler Jeffrey Casellas said in the South West the rate for tiling had remained fairly dormant for the last decade.

New data shows that the cost of tradesmen in building and construction had fallen in WA. Busselton tiler Jeffrey Casellas said in the South West the rate for tiling had remained fairly dormant for the last decade.

NEW data has shown the soft housing market in WA has had a 25 per cent downturn in building and construction costs, according to the trade services website Service Seeking.

The website allows tradesmen to provide direct quotes to customers on the building and construction services they provide.

Service Seeking reported a fall to $59.27 per hour, which was a 7.9 per cent fall in the last quarter alone.

Service Seeking chief executive officer Jeremy Levitt said with the flat market many homeowners were worried about over capitalising on their property and were putting off bigger renovation jobs.

“Despite the downturn, WA was still the second most expensive state to renovate,” he said.

Housing Industry Association economist Geordan Murray said the fall in WA was likely caused by the downturn in the mining industry.

Mr Murrary said during the mining boom the cost of construction was pushed up because of the resurgence in building.

He said over the last two years building and construction in WA had slowed down which put less pressure on trades prices.

“There was a long wait for tradesman and construction and more demand because of the mining boom,” he said.

“Another issue is more people are leaving WA to move interstate and it is possible this has been reflected in building and construction.”

Master Builders Association WA housing director Jason Robertson said in the South West there had been very little fall in trade rates. 

Mr Robertson said this was due mainly to the fact that there had been very little increase over the past couple of years. 

“The boom in Perth did not fully impact the South West.  The South West was busy but not to the level that we had a shortage of trades such as in 2005,” he said.

“The only rates that have been cut substantially over the past 12 months were bricklayer rates.  These have only fallen marginally but as mentioned above did not go up to the level of Perth.”

Busselton tiler Jeffrey Casellas said while rates for tiling had remained fairly dormant in the South West for the past decade or so the complexity of the builds and cost of living had both steadily risen.

“This results in making ends meet a bit harder,” he said.

The Tradie Price Index was derived by comparing a sample of 52,000 quotes submitted during quarter one of this financial year through Service Seeking.

Have your say: Have you noticed a fall in the cost of hiring tradesman in the South West and how did this impact you? Email emma.kirk@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

This story Tradies feeling the pinch first appeared on Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.

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