Home builders

Metricon collapse: Biasin’s roller coaster as homebuilder crisis deepens

Metricon founder Mario Biasin has opened up about the “roller coaster” of struggles plaguing his company months before his shock death this week.

Metricon founder Mario Biasin has shared some eye-opening insight into the challenges facing the industry two years before his shock death this week.

Mr Biasin died suddenly on Monday at the age of 71, after apparently struggling with mental health issues.

His death came just days before the company entered crisis talks amid rumors it was facing financial difficulties.

While Mr. Biasin’s death sent shockwaves through the industry, his comments in a May 2020 podcast revealed the challenges the industry in general and Metricon in particular had been facing for some time.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride to say the least,” Mr Biasin said at the time.

“I didn’t expect this Covid-19 to have the effect it has had all over the world.”

For days now, concern has been growing that Australia’s biggest carmaker has been on the brink of ruin, as claims the company has run into financial trouble have emerged.

Acting CEO Peter Langfelder yesterday dismissed the allegations, saying all was ‘business as usual’ at a press conference at a construction site, although he admitted the company was experiencing problems. project delays.

“Our business has been very strong for 45 years and will continue to be for a long, long time,” Langfelder told reporters.

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“The reality is we are strong, we are paying everyone on time, no one has been late with payments and if anyone can show up.”

Metricon representatives also met with the Victorian government on Thursday for crisis talks on the growing problems plaguing the sector, including soaring costs of key materials such as timber and steel.

Founded in 1976, Metricon is the biggest player in the industry, employing 2,500 Australians with 4,000 projects underway, which is why speculation about the giant’s collapse has caused panic across the country.

But while Metricon’s future may be uncertain, it is only the latest Australian construction company to face trouble this year, after Gold Coast-based Condev and industry giant Probuild have already gone into liquidation in recent months.

Smaller operators like Hotondo Homes Hobart and Perth, Home Innovation Builders and New Sensation Homes, and Sydney-based Next have also collapsed, leaving homeowners out of pocket and with homes unfinished.

Meanwhile, experts are sounding the alarm over a perfect storm of conditions to hit the sector, including staff shortages, supply chain disruptions and skyrocketing costs, coupled with interest rate hikes. ongoing interest on the horizon.

These factors are expected to lead to a decline in construction in the near future, while customers are also being hit hard in the form of unwanted delays and cost increases.

At a housing industry event on Thursday, Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said a “very significant correction” was already happening in the industry following a spike in interest caused by the HomeBuilder government program.

“If you want to think of the pressure HomeBuilder put on demand, Victoria suffered more than anyone else,” Nine newspapers quoted Mr Evans as saying.

“And now, of course, we are seeing a very significant correction.”

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, approvals were 13,000 in June 20202, before climbing to 23,600 the following March, just before the program ended.

In March, approvals fell to 15,000 – a figure that is expected to fall further as the cash rate continues to rise in the coming months.

“Very upsetting”

Meanwhile, a number of Metricon customers have come forward to share their alarming stories as the crisis rages on.

One of them is a Brisbane woman, Kim James, who said A topical matter the construction of his new house began 10 long months ago, before the work stopped.

“It’s very upsetting and it’s caused a lot of stress. Not on me, but on my whole family too,” she told the program.

“Because you’re thinking, ‘what’s going to happen next’? And then now you’re thinking, ‘am I going to find a home? I just want a home.’ That’s all I want , it’s a house.

NSW couple Jessica Snowdon and husband Steve also told news.com.au they were terrified of the situation at Metricon after shell out $31,500 in an initial deposit to the company just four weeks ago.

“We were just freaking out [when we saw the news]What’s going to happen?” Ms Snowdon told news.com.au.

“It’s scary because we don’t know if we should pull out or not, if we pull out we always lose our money.”

– with Sarah Sharples

Originally published as Metricon Founder Mario Biasin Discussed Issues Facing the Company Before Shock Death