Most homebuyers say they would pay more for a five-star builder
Over 75 per cent of Aussie home buyers said they would happily pay more if they were more confident of the building's quality.
A new survey by Equifax, the company behind the NSW Building Commission's Independent Construction Industry Rating Tool (iCIRT), says that the average buyer would pay up to 6 per cent more for the reassurance they were getting a well-regarded builder.
The quality of builds has recently become a significant concern for homebuyers, with 41 per cent of Australians revealing there was visible damage and structural or design issues with their homes.
Over three in five (63 per cent) of Australians acknowledge that living in homes with defects causes stress.
The survey also shows that nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of NSW residents admit that they are concerned about builders cutting corners to deliver homes faster to increase supply.
Overall, only three in ten Australians have a positive perception of the construction industry, including one in ten who is extremely positive.
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Around seven in ten (68 per cent) Australians say they are somewhat or very concerned about the rising number of construction company insolvencies and their potential impact on housing supply.
A whopping 2213 construction companies have fallen into administration in the 2023 financial year, leaving creditors with millions of dollars out of pocket.
Brad Walters, Head of Product and Rating Services at Equifax, said that "there is a big gap to bridge" for the industry to earn back the trust of home buyers.
"…we know there are many capable, reliable and resilient industry players that are dedicated to doing the right thing. The opportunity is there to rebuild consumer trust, and for trustworthy building professionals to benefit from improved market confidence," said Walters.
For those aware of the iCIRT star rating, Walters said the chance of an improved perception of the construction industry in the past 12 months increases to 76 per cent.
"The correlation between the awareness of independent rating tools and change in perception of the construction industry is tangible," commented Walters.
"It is understandable that consumers have construction and property concerns, but rating tools like iCIRT help provide them peace of mind."
The star-rating system gives developers, builders, building and design practitioners, certifiers, trade contractors and consultants a rating of between 1 and 5 stars, with businesses that obtain three gold stars and above classified as trustworthy.
According to Equifax, some customers have already requested their purchase contracts include a termination and refund clause in case the developer doesn't obtain and maintain a trustworthy iCIRT rating before completion.
"We've seen Australians familiarising themselves with independent rating tools and learning to use them when looking for credible construction firms and building professionals," continued Walters.
"One in three of those with property plans are aware of the tools, which is a testament to Australians' increasing education and due diligence."
Accredited building and construction professionals can apply for an iCIRT star rating on the company's website.