RELOCATABLE and portable home builder Park Homes has gone into receivership as the industry predicts the number of new houses built in the state will fall below 2000 this year for the first time in more than a decade.
The National Australia Bank called in receivers McGrathNicol on Friday when the family-run business failed to meet its loan repayments.
The Examiner understands that there are buyers interested in taking over the company, which is based at Cambridge in the state's South. It will be placed on the market tomorrow
Prominent businessman Tony Park started the company 35 years ago and had employed more than 30 people who now face an uncertain future.
It is believed that a retirement village housing 50 people at Geilston Bay, also owned by Mr Park, will have to be sold, but residents won't be affected.
Master Builders Association executive director Michael Kerschbaum said many builders were struggling to stay afloat with the number of houses being built continuing to fall from a high of 3000 five years ago to 2100 last financial year.
Mr Kerschbaum expected the number to drop another 10 per cent this financial year to below 2000.
"It's a pretty major slowdown and it's most certainly getting worse," he said.
The state's economy and unemployment rate needed to improve in order for it to turn around.
"You can't build a home if you don't have a job or full-time work to support a mortgage," he said.
New data yesterday showed a 13.9 per cent increase in the number of new houses approved in January compared with December.
Housing Industry Association executive director Stuart Clues attributed the rise to the state government's decision to double the first home owners grant, which took effect on January 1.
"Anecdotally it seems to be making a difference - I know one builder who at the end of last year was quoting four jobs: this month he had 25," Mr Clues said. McGrathNicol declined to comment.