Confidence in construction and building sector on the rise

The latest Master Builders National Survey of Building and Construction has revealed the sector is experiencing increased and continued confidence, rising to the highest level since March 2008.

According to the survey for the quarter to March 2014, business confidence for building has jumped to above 60 per cent, in comparison to its position below 50 per cent in March 2013.

Master Builders Chief Economist Peter Jones is pleased with the outcome, and highlighted the increasingly positive outlook for the sector.

"Results for the March quarter 2014 show that we are beginning to see signs of the stronger confidence necessary to underpin a sustained recovery," Mr Jones stated in an April 24 news article from Master Builders Australia.

Along with rising business confidence, the survey also revealed improved conditions, an improvement in sales, and a recovery in profits, as well as a positive outlook for future employment.

"We are seeing key indicators continue to strengthen while others have entered positive territory for the first time in years," Mr Jones stated.

One area that has seen significant changes is consumer interest, which rose above the neutral 50 index according to centre traffic and commercial enquiries. This is attributed to low interest rates recreating a surge in demand.

Overall, sales still remain below the 50 index for the March quarter, but are still improving. In fact, in a promising development, the number of builders reporting an increase in sales was above 20 per cent for the first time in three years.

A pleasing development for the sector that was highlighted by the March 2014 quarter survey is the increased opportunity for those looking for work in the building and construction industry.

Builders were asked about prospects regarding levels of employees and subcontractors in the six months from March, and the index rose to 50.2 per cent. According to the survey, this indicates employment will remain stable in upcoming months.