PLUMBERS, painters and electricians have been forced to slash their hourly rates following the recent property slump.
The cost of an average home improvement project has also dropped by almost 60% since 2007, with many homeowners now opting to renovate rather than move.
Plumbers have reduced their hourly charges from €109 to €59 while electricians have dropped from €65 per hour to €40 in the past two years.
The tradesmen index has revealed that consumers are spending an average of 59 % less on home improvement projects this year compared with 2007.
The latest figures show the average spend per home improvement this year was €5,659, including extension work, down from a high of €14,044 per project in 2007.
Painters have reduced their fee from €375 to €250 per day.
Ted Laverty, managing director of Onlinetradesmen.com said the overall index shows consumers are benefiting from significant reductions in tradesmen’s prices for home improvement.
“Our index confirms that the majority tradesmen have adjusted their prices significantly and are now working off low margins.”
He warned there are still a great number of “unqualified cowboy tradesmen” advertising their services on websites and in directories.
“It is important that consumers ensure that the tradesmen they hire are fully qualified for the job at hand and do not make a decision based on price alone,” Mr Laverty said.
New figures also show planning permissions are down by 35%.
The property market collapse is reflected in the latest planning permission statistics which show dwelling units approved in the second quarter of this year are down by more than 35%.
Planning permission was granted for 7,739 houses in the second quarter of 2009 as compared with 12,598 in the second quarter of last year – a decrease of 35.7%.
Permission was also granted for 5,092 apartment units in the second quarter this year compared with 7,344 for the same period last year, a decrease of 30.7%, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office.
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