Renowned Perth builder Collier Homes collapses

One of Western Australia's best known and oldest residential building companies, Collier Homes, has shocked the industry and customers by collapsing into liquidation.

This Collier Homes build featured on an episode of Grand Designs.
This Collier Homes build utilising concrete featured on an episode of Grand Designs. (Image source: Collier Homes)

Collier Homes, a household name in Western Australia and one of the state’s largest residential builders, has folded.

The 65-year-old company revealed Tuesday (23 April) that the business would be wound up.

Company representatives and liquidators have yet to reveal the scale of the company’s debts or the number of customers affected by their demise.

In a recent note on its website, the firm said it tried hard to please customers during these challenging times.

“The post-Covid stimuli were well-intentioned, however, they created massive supply chain shortages, delays and labour constraints all translating to unpredictable cost escalation,” the Collier Homes statement said.

The company also cited industry reports that outlined how building costs are 27 per cent higher than at the start of the pandemic.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission revealed it had appointed Robert Conry Brauer and Linda Methven Smith from McGrath Nicol as liquidators.

Collier’s owner Dario Amara is a second-generation builder with more than 40 years of experience, whose company has appeared on television series Grand Designs for its highly regarded North Perth House.

Jason Janssen, Chairman, Home Builders Action Group, told media the collapse of Collier Homes was a tragedy.

“To witness the end of an industry stalwart is upsetting for everyone.”

Only last week, API Magazine reported that during the nine-month period from 1 July 2023 to 31 March 2024 a staggering 2,142 construction companies entered external administration, the most of any industry sector.

Collier Homes’ shocking failure ends a legacy that began when the home builder was founded in 1959. The business was sold to a national land developer in 1969 and has changed hands multiple times since then.

The company was rescued from the brink of collapse in 2016, when it announced a deal with US-based Lindal Cedar Homes.

Peak bodies unite in call for housing crisis action

The loss of such a reputable brand in the construction industry further underscores the unlikelihood of Australia’s building needs being met to address the dire housing crisis.

The government’s ambitious and increasingly unrealistic goal of building 1.2 million homes in five years under the National Housing Accord is on the ropes.

In response, seven peak bodies have united in a call for renewed emphasis on addressing the issues besetting the industry and housing in general.

The Property Council of Australia, National Shelter, the Housing Industry Association, the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA), Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), Master Builders Australia, and Homelessness Australia released a joint statement asking for additional investment in the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) to be included in the next federal budget, due on 14 May 2024.

The group has asked for a doubling the Housing Australia Future Fund in the upcoming budget to $20 billion.

Among other recommendations is that Commonwealth departments involved in any way in the delivery of new homes must remove any barriers that delay or inhibit building.

Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn stressed the importance of creating an environment in which new homes can get underway.

“We know one of the biggest handbrakes on housing supply is making it easier for new projects to get the green light by kickstarting private investment and reducing development costs and delays.”

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