Building approval data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals a mixed bag for tradies.

Year on year, private sector house approvals are up 4.4% whereas private sector dwellings excluding houses (for example apartments) are down 5.1% year on year. Some up, some down, so what does this mean?

Coming off a renovation boom, tradies have experienced a 4% hike in hourly rates over the last year according to data from hire-a-tradie site However, the last quarter has seen only a modest 1% increase in hourly rates, suggesting demand for tradies is cooling.

Of concern for tradies is the 0.4% fall in value of building approvals for alterations and additions to residential buildings in September 2017 which has continued to fall for the last 2 months. There is less money up for grabs and tradies need to be sharper with their prices.

Recent data released by trades and services website reported a less than impressive quarterly change across most states, with Jeremy Levitt, CEO of predicting a slowing down in renovation activity.

“Compared to the quarterly change in hourly rates at the same time last year we can see that demand for tradies is falling off," he said.

"There is a cooling in renovation activity and a softening in tradies prices. Last year alone saw New South Wales experience a 9% hike in hourly rates, and a 5% rise across Australia. This year shows a different story."

So which trades are out in the cold over the last quarter?

Plumbers are down to $85.60/hour and Electricians have fallen 2%. Full price changes are available including refrigeration mechanics and air conditioning technicians.

Prices were derived by comparing a sample of 52,000 quotes submitted during the FY18 Q1 through

To view price changes go to



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