"The fuel cost side has a huge flow in effect on businesses. A lot of businesses haven't passed on the extra cost so we're just starting to feel the impact now. The councils have also increased their fees on applications and are now requiring greater number of reports that attract levies," he said. Lawrence is urging homebuyers and homeowners to be cautious and should assess the cost of repairing or renovating the new home they are thinking of buying. "Many home buyers are caught legally and financially when they purchase a property without an inspection only to find they can face up to tens of thousands of dollars in unbudgeted repairs," said Lawrence. "Usually, having extended themselves to purchase the property these unbudgeted costs are added to the mortgage." Archicentre study has found that one in three homes purchased have faults which includes wiring, roofing, foundations, cracking and plumbing problems.

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