Porter Davis Homes, the country’s 12th-largest home builder, has gone into liquidation, leaving more than 1700 projects in the lurch across Victoria and Queensland. Said Jahani, Matt Byrnes and Cameron Crichton of Grant Thornton Australia were appointed liquidators of 14 companies in the Melbourne-based Porter Davis Homes Group on Friday. A ‘bit of a red ocean’: Porter Davis director Anthony Roberts in 2021, seen here with Englehart founder Ron Englehart, said the volume-building industry was struggling. Eamon Gallagher Porter Davis, which has over 1500 unfinished contracts in its home state and 200 more in Queensland, sought to reduce its reliance on a deteriorating mass market with the 2021 acquisition of boutique luxury builder Englehart, but was unable to survive in a market that subsequently deteriorated further with soaring costs and builders held to fixed-price contracts. The much-anticipated drop-off of new sales after the pull-forward of work in the pipeline by the federal government’s HomeBuilder incentive scheme also contributed to the company’s collapse, the liquidators said. “The extremely challenging environment for residential home building has directly contributed to the PDH Group’s financial position, with rising input costs, supply chain delays, labour shortages, and a drop in demand for new homes in 2023 impacting the Group’s liquidity,” Grant Thornton said in a statement. “Notwithstanding the financial support from shareholders and lenders, the Group has exhausted options to secure the further funding required to allow Porter Davis to continue to operate viably, and the directors were left with no option but to place the companies into liquidation.” Englehart was not affected by the liquidation and would continue to operate in its own right, the liquidators said. Porter Davis had signed contracts with a further 779 customers on projects that were yet to start construction. The market for mass market builders was already tough, director and founder Anthony Roberts told The Australian Financial Review in 2021, at the time of the Englehart deal. “The greater retail market is a bit of a red ocean,” Mr Roberts said. ”It can be a bit of a bloodbath.” Last year, Porter Davis chief executive Adrian Hondros – Commonwealth Bank’s former head of private banking – quit the company after extending his initial five-year contract by another year.