Perth WA - A report issued last week by the Master Builders Association of Western Australia suggested that the home renovation market could grow by up to 27.1% over the next year.

Whilst growth in the renovation industry over the previous three years has been steady at a healthy 8.3%, this represents a dramatic increase, with knock-on effects for would-be home improvers.

Master Builders WA Communications and Housing Director Geoff Cooper suggested that the origins of such growth lay partly in low interest rates, ongoing population growth, but also in WA’s onerous stamp duty, which pushes many to improve their current residence rather than move.

Western Australian Tradesmen Labour Prices Highest In Australia

Even before the predicted boom, a recent survey conducted by found Perth homeowners paid higher labour costs per hour to tradesmen than any other capital city in Australia, to an average of $68.39 per hour.

Particularly expensive tradesmen included carpenters, electricians and plumbers. The high prices paid in Perth are indicative of the current shortage of tradesmen.

New Energy Efficiency Regulations

However, the predicted growth is also derived from the impact of new energy efficiency regulations which will come into force on May 1st 2015. Under the new regulations, all renovations and extensions will have to achieve a minimum of 6-star energy efficiency, as is already the case for new builds.

Whilst laudable in intent, the new regulations mean that renovation projects will require stricter assessment to ensure they meet guidelines and will probably cost more as well. With the shortage of tradesmen, that will result in renovation work both costing more and taking longer to complete.

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