Builders' confidence low

UNCERTAINTY and a lack of confidence were dogging the building industry with the construction outlook unlikely to improve before the end of the year, a major survey of builders in regional Queensland revealed on Monday.

The Master Builders survey of industry conditions, looking at the confidence of builders in every regional market in the state, revealed that builders in Mackay were the most confident of all regions, followed by Central Queensland, the Darling Downs, Gold Coast, Far North, Sunshine Coast, North Queensland and Burnett Wide Bay regions

The report said builders remained concerned about job security, living expenses and debt levels, while financing and stagnant house prices also contributed to the gloom.

"At this point in time, many builders do not expect a major improvement in the industry's fortunes over the last half of 2012," it reads.

"They simply cannot see the circuit-breaker that is going to jolt consumers and businesses out of their current malaise.

"The report said uncertainty over the impact of the carbon tax also was creating a challenging environment for builders, with most forced to wait until after September to gauge its effect on their bottom line

."This situation leaves builders and trade contractors in the difficult position of entering new contracts with no firm idea of the likely cost of many key supplies," it reads.

"A sizeable proportion of businesses have already increased their prices in response to the carbon tax."