Cement producer and construction firm Fletcher Building has reported a 20% year-on-year drop in domestic housing demand during the first quarter of 2023. The Australian newspaper has reported that the company attributed the decline to ‘soaring’ interest rates in the country. It now expects to sell 800 residential units in 2023, 20% below its previous expectation of 1000 units. Fletcher Building said that building materials costs rose by 5 – 10% between 2020 and 2022, due to ‘higher input and commodity costs’ in production.
CEO Ross Taylor said that Fletcher Building faces labour shortages in its civil construction business, but maintained a strong order pipeline. Taylor said “It won’t drive an uptick in volumes but it will underpin the volumes in the next three to four years.”