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Same service, different price. How your postcode can drive up the cost of hiring a tradie

Same service, different price.

New data gathered by tradie jobs website ServiceSeeking.com.au reveals how your postcode can drive up the cost of hiring a tradie, and the diagonal divide between the north-east and south-west of Sydney is clearer than ever. Download the full Sydney dataset here.

Towards the end of last year as tradie prices started to decline, residents of the inner city, eastern suburbs and the north shore were paying up to 140 per cent more for tradies than those living in the south and west.

ServiceSeeking.com.au mapped the average hourly charge-out rates of tradies across 7 industries by analyising over 12,000 hourly rate quotes submitted on the site in 2018. The map displays areas with prices above the average in red and areas below the average in green.

The closer you get to the inner city and eastern suburbs, the higher the charge out rate. The most expensive suburbs are clustered around the inner city, east and north; most of the south and west (and outer north-west) of the city is the land of “milk and honey” (ie cheap tradie prices).

The geographical divide of the mapped tradie quotes bears a striking resemblance to the so-called “latte line” – north of the line is where the jobs are, while south of the line is where there’s greater housing availability

Jeremy Levitt, CEO of ServiceSeeking.com.au says tradies continue to lift their rates for customers they perceive as being better able to pay higher prices. Property prices align with this trend too.

“While we’ve seen a cooling in the levels of demand for tradies, there are some pockets in Sydney where customers will pay significantly more for an hour of a tradies’ time. Tradies working in suburbs considered to be more affluent often increase their charge-out rates because they perceive their customers to be more capable of paying higher prices. In addition to this, these suburbs generally have a higher demand for renovation services.”

A low supply of tradespeople above the “latte line” is also a factor,

“A lot of tradies are commuting from the south and west to the north and east for jobs,” Mr Levitt said. Their hourly charge-out rates will incorporate overheads, including the cost of commuting along with insurance, vehicles, staff and tools.

The data also revealed some interesting pockets of low and high prices.

The cheapest prices for tradies are in Horsley Park, Silverdale, Wentworth Falls, Bass Hill and Mount Riverview, where the average cost of a tradie across 10 main industries is below $70/hour.

There are also pockets of low charge-out rates in the north and east, which Mr Levitt puts down to either “a low demand for renovation services or a perception that residents in these suburbs can’t afford higher prices.”

The data serves as a reminder to homeowners to shop around, Mr Levitt said.

“Renovators need to be sure to compare quotes and prices from numerous tradies to make sure they don’t end up overpaying.”

The industries included in this analysis were:

  • Handymen
  • Electrical Services
  • Plumbing
  • Carpenters
  • Painters
  • Concreters; and
  • Builders