Revelations that one of Victoria’s largest home builders has gone into administration is the latest blow to housing affordability in Victoria. Porter Davis Homes, a Melbourne based home builder currently constructing more than 1,500 homes across Victoria (and another 200 in Queensland), announced it would cease works immediately.
Recent ABS data has shown a fall in building approvals in Victoria, with total dwelling units approved falling 38.6 per cent for the month and down 11.9 per cent for the twelve months to January 2023.
Porter Davis Homes, was Australia’s 12th-largest home builder. It failed to secure a buyer or capital investor and was left with no other option but to go into liquidation.
Said Jahani, Matt Byrnes and Cameron Crichton of Grant Thornton Australia have been appointed liquidators of 14 companies in the Melbourne-based Porter Davis Homes Group.
The builder had more than 1700 projects going in Victoria and Queensland. All of them are now left to be taken care of by the incoming Liquidators.
Shadow Minister for Home Ownership and Housing Affordability, Jess Wilson, said this latest closure was a further blow to housing affordability in Victoria.
“The Andrews Labor Government’s major projects Big Build is pushing other housing and construction businesses out of the market – meaning fewer homes at higher prices for everyday Victorians,” Ms Wilson said.
“Daniel Andrews doesn’t care about helping Victorians achieve the dream of owning their own home.”
With the shrinking general housing market, the builder sought to reduce its reliance on a declining mass market with its acquisition of boutique luxury builder Englehart in 2021. But the troubles caused by COVID lockdowns and surging costs while the builders were expected to honor their already signed fixed-price contracts, it became impossible for it to survive while the losses continued to pile up.
“A serious fall in building approvals, combined with today’s news and the existing contraction of Victoria’s supply of new housing stock, is just making home ownership further and further out of reach for Victorians,” Ms Wilson added.
“Whether its taxes, interest rates, borrowing capacity or supply of homes – every housing affordability indicator is in reverse under Labor.”
Porter Davis had signed contracts with a further 779 customers on projects that were yet to start construction.
With 470 workers losing their jobs, it is a sad day for Victoria.
Englehart, boutique luxury builder Porter Davis Homes took over in 2012, is not affected by the liquidation and will continue to operate in as normal.