All trades across residential construction in Australia are in short supply, the latest data suggests.

And the shortage extends across every region.

In its latest report, Housing Industry Association has analysed the demand/supply balance of tradespeople across thirteen areas of residential construction throughout ten regions for the June quarter.

It found that shortages existed across every trade which was analysed.

Whilst bricklaying, roofing and carpentry were the most impacted, shortages are also evident in ‘other trades’ (a miscellaneous category), ceramic tiling, plastering, general building, joinery, painting, site preparation, plumbing, landscaping and electrical.

The shortage extends across all regions, with regional Queensland, Perth and Brisbane being most impacted.

Not surprisingly, trade prices are rising.

Compared with the June quarter of 2020, prices for roofing, site preparation, bricklaying and plumbing are up 7.9 percent, 7.2 percent, 7.0 percent and 6.4 percent.

The latest figures came as job vacancy data indicates that the number of vacancies for trades such as carpenters, painters, plumbers and electricians sit at their highest level in many years as desperate employers struggle to fill advertised positions (see chart).

HIA Economist Angela Lillicrap said the shortage in tradespeople comes as a record year in detached home construction along with strong activity in existing home renovations has driven demand for skilled workers.

In turn, this has been driven by the Commonwealth Homebuilder program through which more than 120,000 applications for grants to build new homes or to substantially renovate existing homes were forwarded.

Whilst acknowledging that the shortage is expected to ease in 2022 as the number of new home commencements taper off, Lillicrap now is an ideal time for those considering trades or apprenticeships to take these up.

“At the end of HomeBuilder, there was over 120,000 applications for a new build or renovation expected to enter the construction pipeline, stretching the availability of trades,” Lillicrap said.

“This is vastly different conditions compared to the same time last year when the supply of skilled trades was close to equilibrium.

“This shortage is occurring to varying extents across all regions and all trades measured in the report.

“The current surge in building activity means that it is a good time for anyone interested in starting an apprenticeship or learning a trade.”