Construction sector marks first casualty of 2023

Melbourne home builder goes into administration as industry braces for another brutal year

Construction sector marks first casualty of 2023

A Melbourne home builder has become the construction industry’s first casualty of 2023 as the sector braces for another brutal year.

Hallbury Homes, which has operated for three decades, has gone into administration, appointing Menzies Advisory principal Michael Caspaney on Wednesday, The Australian reported. Caspaney said 20 Hallbury employees were affected by the move, and that the company was operating 50 projects, including dual occupancies, on 42 sites in Melbourne.

Caspaney said he was still in the process of gathering information, but a major driver of Hallbury’s troubles was the slow build speed for its projects.

“The directors believe the company is insolvent or will be insolvent in the near future,” he told The Australian. “At this state, all options are open, but the facts will determine where everything will end up. There’s a process going on and everyone here is genuine about it and managing the process as best they can.”

Hallbury is under the directorship of Glenn Nathan Smith and Clifford Anthony Hall, The Australian reported. The company is owned by Boynis Pty and CHFT Pty Ltd, which are controlled by Smith and Hall, respectively.

Hallbury’s move into voluntary administration is the latest in a string of construction company collapses across the nation. Over the past 18 months, builders including Privium, Probuild, and Oracle Platinum Homes have collapsed, impacting billions of dollars in construction projects.

Read next: Another Queensland builder collapses

Capseny said that Hallbury employees were informed of the company’s move into administration on Wednesday. He said Hallbury customers have contacted him asking about other builders to finish their homes.

“The industry is so stressed it’s different from the normal pre-COVID, when the customers used to run off and have five different alternatives,” he told The Australian. “But my perception of the current situation is that all builders are under the same stress, which is long build time, and I am trying to collect a few names because customers are saying they need recommendations.”

Weather events and shortages of labour and materials have pushed residential build times – typically between seven and nine months – to well over a year, The Australian reported.

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