Cost of hiring tradespeople in NSW increasing, with plumbers most pricey
If you are considering having your pipes checked for the first time in a while, be warned: plumbers are now the most expensive tradie to call in NSW.
With an average hourly rate of $78.84, plumbers came out on top of the quarterly Tradie Price Index, released by jobs website ServiceSeeking.com.au.
The index, which compared a sample of 52,000 quotes submitted online between October and December last year, found that the cost of hiring a tradesperson increased 9 per cent in NSW since the previous quarter, taking the average hourly rate to $64.46.
Building and construction, carpentry, electricity, landscaping, painting, plastering, plumbing and tiling were among the trades surveyed by the index.
Victoria has the most affordable tradie rates, at an average of $57.90 an hour, while hourly rates increase sharply in Queensland ($69.93) and Western Australia ($73.08).
Nationally the average hourly rate across all of the eight surveyed trades is $66.18.
While plumbers are the most expensive groups of tradespeople in NSW, they are followed closely by electricians ($75.43 an hour), landscapers ($70.46) and painters ($50.49).
“Housing affordability in NSW is becoming increasingly dire and we’re seeing less and less properties on the market,” said Jeremy Levitt, chief executive of the Service Seeking job site.
“It only makes sense that people are choosing to renovate rather than upsize to a new place.”
In its most recent quarterly Trades Report, HIA, Australia’s peak body for residential building, renovation and development, found persistent shortages of skilled workers had led to upward pressures on trade prices, with severe shortages most evident in the east coast markets.
“There are areas of the industry where there is a shortage of workers, bricklayers are a prominent example, as are ceramic tilers,” said HIA chief economist Harley Dale.
“In the case of bricklayers, it’s an ageing workforce and those retiring out of the industry are not being sufficiently replaced, which places an upward pressure on rates.”
Mr Dale said HIA figures show NSW trade prices increasing at around six to seven per cent per annum, as a result of the “booming residential production market”.
“Industry has gone from building less than 30,000 homes a year, to building well over 50,000 a year,” he said.”We were helped by the fact that as the NSW housing boom started. the resources boom was coming to an end, so we had a migration of skilled tradespeople away from the resources parts of the country back into NSW.”
Mr Dale said prices for tradespeople would likely increase throughout the year.
“The building boom has a little bit further to run in NSW, so there will be further pressure on availability of trades, but I think most of the growth spurt in building has come and gone.”