Liquidator appointed: Coast to Coast Homes

Master Builders SA is urging the Marshall Government to tighten up licensing and immediately adopt its five point plan to improve affordability after the collapse of yet another South Australian builder today.

Creditors voted to wind up Coast to Coast Homes “in view of its inability to continue by reason of its liabilities” according to a notice lodged with ASIC. Clifton Hall has been appointed liquidator.

Coast to Coast Homes is the seventh South Australian residential building company to have gone under in the past six months. None of them were Master Builders SA members, but we are deeply concerned for our many members who have been left out of pocket.

“It’s very concerning another South Australian builder has gone under,” said Master Builders SA CEO Ian Markos. “Coast to Coast Homes isn’t a Master Builders member but I am aware of a number of MBA subcontractors who are owed money.

“Seven residential home builders have gone under in less than seven months. That is a clear signal something isn’t right in the industry.

“A lack of understanding of accounting and financial business matters has been a major factor in the collapse of these builders. We think the time has come to enforce a skill level – including financial –  that allows a licence to be granted or renewed. All approvals including home loan funding should require the licence of the builder to be verified, and all breaches should be strictly enforced with significant penalties.

“Proper cash flow management is absolutely crucial to the running of a successful business. Master Builders has a business finance course for our members but training in this area should be compulsory before any builder is given a licence.

“It is very important customers do their research before engaging a builder. I make the point that none of those seven builders were Master Builders members. We are all about raising the level of professionalism in the industry and we work closely with our members to help get them licensed and upskilled.

“Poor behaviour reflects badly on the entire industry and that isn’t fair. We are angry that good people have been left out of pocket.

“Most of our members continue to report a tough housing market out there. The Morrison Government’s first home loan deposit scheme will definitely help increase demand but there are levers the state government can pull too. Master Builders SA wants to see the Marshall Government support our five point plan to improve affordability and protect jobs in the industry.

“The ABS numbers around building approvals and the value of residential building work point to a disturbing long-term trend.

“You can’t have a strong economy without a strong building industry. Next month’s State Budget is an opportunity for the Marshall Government to back first homebuyers and the many thousands of South Australians working in the building industry.

“Number one on our wish list is a stamp duty exemption for first homebuyers on new builds. The $20,330 tax on a median home becomes a $60,000 plus noose with interest over the duration of their mortgage.

“Victoria is a great example of what stamp duty abolition can do for first homebuyers, builders and the wider economy. Since they got rid of stamp duty for first homebuyers in July 2017, their number of owner occupied first home buyers has increased at roughly three times the rate of South Australia.

Independent modelling by Hudson Howells shows that abolishing stamp duty in South Australia would stimulate construction of up to 1960 additional houses, create up to 4700 new full time jobs and create a net state government gain of between $17.6 million and $43.5 million. This policy would be good for first homebuyers, the building industry, the State Government and the South Australian economy.”