Tradie industry report: Local businesses work to keep the market competitive
As Australian households tackle rising living expenses amid increasing inflation rates, local tradie business owners are doing their best to reduce the impact on home improvement costs. This is according to new research from, hipages in the hipages Tradie Trends Report 20221.
hipages connects homeowners with tradies to secure a fair price for their job while enabling tradie small businesses to secure a strong pipeline of valuable, local work. It commissioned this survey of 500-plus tradie small business owners and 1,000-plus homeowners via Thrive Insights to create a holistic picture of today’s home improvement landscape and associated challenges around the current cost of living.
“We’re living in conditions where prices are inflated across the board but renovations and home repairs don’t stop,” hipages chief executive and co-founder Roby Sharon-Zipser says.
“That’s why our tradies are essential to keep the country moving. hipages is enabling tradies to seek the jobs that are local and of high value to their business. For homeowners, we’re enabling them to secure a trusted, quality tradie at a fair price.”
Home improvement prices
The hipages Tradie Trends Report 2022 shows 85% of our nation’s tradies have had to increase their prices primarily due to surging building material and petrol costs, with more than half forced to do so in the past three months.
For the vast majority of tradies (84%), any price increase has been made with great hesitancy, with the majority only willing to increase their prices by 10%.
The results show that your local tradie is taking on more costs to reduce the impact of inflation on homeowner hip pockets, as they seek to do right by their customers and ensure work doesn’t dry up.
Tradies are exploring more innovative, affordable materials for their customers (59%), and many are also seeking to minimise the distance of travel between jobs (38%) to lower fuel usage. hipages is a solution in these circumstances as it enables tradies to select the job opportunities inside a travel radius that works best for them, helping to keep petrol costs down.
The report also shows that close to a quarter (23%) of tradies have had to increase prices to make up for financial losses over the tumultuous past 12 months.
Material costs surge
According to tradies, the current cost of materials is doing the most damage to the bottom line and remains the main reason (62%) they’ve had to increase prices.
This is unsurprising, as the domestic and global supply of building materials is tight, with shipping delays, strong demand, ongoing supply chain disruptions and high international freight costs impacting suppliers and businesses according to the National Bureau of Statistics, Producer Prices Index, March 2022.
Ongoing shortages of timber and increasing metals prices have placed added pressure on material costs, with input prices to house construction rising 15.4% over the past 12 months due to timber, board and joinery increasing by 20.6%, and other metal products seeing a 16.2% surge.
Cost of living impact on renovation and repair
Despite the cost of living pressures, and 91% of respondents being concerned about inflation in some way, over a third of homeowners intend to spend $5,000 on renovations or repairs in the next six months. When asked why they intend to spend on their home, the majority responded for repair and maintenance (68%). A further 22% will be catering to changing living needs, while 20% will be updating a home they purchased.
When it also comes to price, more are inclined to pay more for tradies with more experience (50%), those that are local to their home (45%), and those they have received recommendations for (44%), over tradies that could complete the job quicker than others (31%). A total of 60% of homeowners say that they’re not willing to pay more for jobs being completed sooner.
Additionally, one in four households claims they previously ‘went cheap’ and later regretted it. hipages provides consumers with quotes from up to three trusted, licensed tradie professionals to enable homeowners to make an informed decision in this market.
When asked what renovations they had planned in the next 12 months, interestingly the majority opted for money-saving additions to their home including solar power, lighting, security and automation (27%), solar panels (20%) and water conservation (11%).
Of concern is that more than half of households don’t give themselves a big enough safety net in their budgeting (stating safety nets of only 0-10%) for home improvement jobs. In the current climate, hipages recommend homeowners allocate a budget buffer of 10-20%.
How can hipages assist tradies to grow in this environment?
“For the business owners that feel like they’re jumping from one job to the next, but they’re not making a growing profit, it is time to reevaluate the type of work you’re taking on rather than working around the clock to maintain volume. hipages will enable you to build a pipeline of higher value jobs at a closer distance to one another, to reduce fuel expenses and better prioritise jobs,” Roby says.
“We’re also offering six months free to our platform, Tradiecore. This is business management software designed specifically for tradie small businesses. Tradies can use it for scheduling, business admin and invoicing. Freeing them up for more important tasks, like business growth.”