Via the AFR:
The cost of housing bricks has soared by a third in just two years in Sydney as a construction boom has kept the NSW capital one of the world’s most expensive cities in which to build.
Sydney’s 33.1 per cent leap in the cost of 1000 standard bricks – from $590 in 2015 to $785 this year – was triple the 9.6 per cent gain seen in Melbourne over the same time, where the cost of the same material rose to $570 from $520.
The figures, contained in Turner & Townsend’s International Construction Market Survey 2017, also show the clear effect the country’s biggest-ever housing boom has had on the market for materials and labour in Australia’s largest city. The cost of structural steel has jumped 17.1 per cent over the past two years to $2400 per sq m from $2050 while it has barely budged in other cities.
But the booming market has done little to alter the existing picture of a strong, if patchy, overall market dominated by Sydney. The NSW capital ranked ninth out of 43 markets surveyed in the quantity surveying firm’s latest global comparison, with New York taking top place as the most expensive place in which to build. Melbourne came in 20th, Perth 21st (down from 18th position) and Brisbane 22nd.
And with Australia’s residential housing blitz likely to hit a peak over the next 12 to 18 months, demand for some of those materials is likely to ease. It will be offset to some extent by rising demand for infrastructure-related inputs, but the timing and extent of those is unclear, said Turner & Townsend senior economist Gary Emmett.
Meh. That’s not it. This is, from Brickworks:
We never thought that after 108 years of making bricks in Australia, we would now need to investigate manufacturing overseas.
Following repeated warnings from industry over many years, it is now obvious that government has failed to develop an effective policy to address domestic energy supply.
Frustratingly, some governments seem intent on exacerbating the issue, even if that means the lights will go out in houses and factories across the country.
Exporting our gas is not just putting at risk the jobs of 2000 to 3000 brick makers in Australia, but also the more than 25,000 bricklayers that rely on an uninterrupted supply of products, not to mention the flow on effect in relation to housing supply.
One third of non-labour costs producing bricks is gas. One quarter of its profits gone (without price hikes) thanks to the recent surge in gas prices.
That’s putting a roof over your head in the Banana Republic.