Renovation rescue time for the Illawarra

An increase in home buyer and investor confidence was behind the renovation boom.

An increase in home buyer and investor confidence was behind the renovation boom.

Tackling a big home renovation project is not for the faint-hearted, but it seems more Illawarra home owners could be calling in the builders over the next three years.

Master Builders Australia is forecasting an Australia-wide home renovations boom worth up to $100 billion a year.

In NSW the industry is expecting an annual average growth of 19 per cent through to 2017.

"The robust outlook is in stark contrast to the languid performance experienced over the last three years, when it contracted by an average of 3.2 per cent per annum," Master Builders Australia (MBA) chief executive Wilhelm Harnisch said.

"The strong growth in renovations will be a shot in the arm for builders across Australia and complement the solid pipeline of work indicated by the solid lift in new building activity."

An increase in home buyer and investor confidence was behind the boom, sparking a renewed interest in home renovations, MBA spokesman Ben Carter said.

"Part of it is also the strong growth in residential building, so people who previously built houses or who have bought houses are renovating those properties to invest in their investment, so to speak," he said.

"It's also about that pent-up demand. The last few years things have been in the doldrums in most states and therefore people weren't doing anything, so there's a bit of natural pent-up demand."

Belle Property agent Sam O'Halloran has a current listing for a home on Robsons Road, West Wollongong, that is a prime candidate for a big renovation.

He said Illawarra buyers were increasingly keeping an open mind about the property market.

"There has been an influx of people looking for properties that do need work, naturally because it is more affordable and they can then design it the way they want," he said.

"Since there's not a whole lot of stock on the market, buyers aren't afraid to buy something that they can get their hands dirty on."

Home buyers were often keen to keep original features when renovating an older property to maintain the home's personality.

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