Home builder Porter Davis in trouble

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A large Victorian-based home builder with more than 400 employees is teetering on the edge leaving dozens of subcontractors unpaid and potentially hundreds of aspiring homeowners in limbo.

Subcontractors working for Porter Davis Homes say they haven’t been paid for work done on the volume builder’s projects, leading to concerns the company is sliding towards administration.

was ranked the 13th largest home builder in Australia with construction started on 1,734 homes in the 2020/21 financial year.Credit:Natalie Boog

Well-placed sources not authorised to speak publicly said the builder was looking for a buyer on Thursday night, but was unable to find a last-ditch saviour. The group’s directors are preparing for Grant Thornton to be appointed as liquidators to the group and a formal announcement to staff is expected on Friday morning.

Melbourne-based Porter Davis was contacted for comment.

The company operates mainly in Victoria and south-east Queensland. It was ranked the 13th largest home builder in Australia with construction started on 1,734 homes in the 2020/21 financial year, according to Housing Industry Association figures.

John Goddard from Subbies United said multiple subcontractors working on Porter Davis projects had not been paid in the past few months, with some not receiving payments since before Christmas.

“Suppliers have stopped their accounts and subbies are not working for them,” Goddard said. “They’re another box builder basketcase.”

It’s believed the Commonwealth Bank is the business’ largest creditor.

Its struggles come as the construction industry faces increasing pressure in the aftermath of the pandemic.

More than $5 billion worth of major building projects in Victoria stalled last year when construction giant Probuild collapsed into administration. Australia’s largest home builder Metricon also faced rumours of financial difficulty and potential insolvency in May last year after the shock death of its chief executive.

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