Construction trust issues concern Aussie property seekers

Property plans clash with construction sector trust concerns

Construction trust issues concern Aussie property seekers


By Mina Martin

A recent Equifax survey has revealed that while 45% of Australians plan to buy, renovate, or build within the next five years, a third of them (32%) hold a negative view of the construction industry.

The construction industry’s perception among Australians is less than favourable, with only 30% holding a positive view.

Insolvency concerns

The rising number of construction company insolvencies, which constitute 31.5% of all insolvency cases in a recent quarter, has heightened concerns about its impact on housing supply, with 68% of Australians worried about these developments. For those planning to invest in property within the next five years, this concern escalates to 76%.

Structural concerns and stress

The condition of houses and apartments also fuelled consumer concerns about the building and construction industry.

The survey found that 41% of Australians reported visible damage and structural or design flaws in their homes. Moreover, 63% of Australians said that living in homes with defects is stressful, a sentiment that rises to 77% among those actually living in such conditions.

Paying more for trust

Equifax research indicated that Australians are inclined to pay a premium for reliability, with 63% willing to invest more for the certainty of engaging with reputable property developers or building professionals. This figure climbs to 76% among those planning property activities in the next five years.

Equifax’s Brad Walters on rebuilding trust

Brad Walters (pictured above), head of product and rating services at Equifax, highlighted the opportunity for the construction industry to regain consumer confidence.

“There is a big gap to bridge. However, we know there are many capable, reliable, and resilient industry players that are dedicated to doing the right thing,” Walters said. “The opportunity is there to rebuild consumer trust, and for trustworthy building professionals to benefit from improved market confidence.”

Independent rating tools

The survey indicated a growing awareness among Australians of independent rating tools, such as Equifax’s iCIRT, which can help consumers identify credible construction firms. A third of those with property plans are familiar with these tools, reflecting an increase in consumer education and due diligence.

Awareness of tools like iCIRT correlates with improved perceptions of the construction industry. For those familiar with iCIRT, 76% reported a more positive view of the construction sector over the past 12 months. This statistic suggested that independent rating systems could play a significant role in enhancing industry trustworthiness.

iCIRT star-rating system

Equifax’s iCIRT introduced a star-rating system for the construction industry, aiming to provide transparency and allow consumers to confidently choose building professionals.

The system rates entities from one to five stars, with those achieving at least three gold stars considered trustworthy. This initiative is part of efforts to ensure consumer confidence in one of life's most significant decisions.

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