Out with new, spruce up the old

With the housing market is in a state of decline and home owners watching every cent, it seems many Aussies are looking to make the most of what they've got by renovating their existing properties.

The gloom and doom of the global recession is placing a heavy burden on the new homes market but on the other side of the coin it is resulting in a renovation boom the likes of which has not been seen since the late nineties.

While in the past three years Maintrade's primary job income was sourced from the commercial and business sector, including shop and office fit outs, its versatile team are turning their hand, more and more, to household renovations, as demand decreases for commercial work and increases for residential jobs.

Chris Jefferson, director of Maintrade, reported that the spike in residential enquiries for quotes and approved jobs in April was a significant increase on the past years trends.

"The beautiful part of it is that the team is excited to be back dealing with the public again face to face," said Mr Jefferson "They really enjoy the direct contact with their clients and feeling like their making a contribution to improving someone's living environment."

"When you're working on a commercial project you don't often get an opportunity to deal with the client personally, so the team is enjoying the change."

Whether this surge in requests for renovations has been a result of the recent incentive payments is uncertain, but it seems clear that many home owners are choosing to stay put and invest in their existing property.

No doubt all those involved in the building and construction industry will be keen observers of the federal budget next week and many are tipping a change in the conditions applied to the first home buyers grant based on Prime Minister Rudd's comments from earlier in the week when he said, in relation to the grant, that "all good things must come to an end."

The 2009-10 Commonwealth Budget will be released at 7.30PM, TUESDAY 12 MAY 2009

Tags: Renovation, Economy, Residential

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