Australian construction activity rebounds after a weak performing September

Cordell (a CoreLogic company) captured 1,945 development applications and proposals in the construction pipeline across Australia in October. While this is 2.8% lower than the number of development applications captured in the previous month, it is above the five year average of 1,775.

The total value of these development applications was AU$17.6 billion. This combined construction value is above the 5 year average of AU$9.3 billion, and was also substantially higher than the $11.2 billion recorded in September.

Several high value civil engineering projects pushed up the value of the pipeline to a 3 month high. The highest value
civil engineering development applications were for a wind farm development in Victoria ($1.7 billion), a joint state
and federal initiative for to upgrade the Perth to Darwin National Highway ($1.1 billion), and the proposal for stage 1
of the Parramatta light rail corridor ($1 billion).

CoreLogic commercial research analyst Eliza Owen said, “While development applications remain buoyant, Cordell
captured just 781 projects moving into the construction stages in October.

“This is far lower than the 5 year average of 1,041 projects per month, though 16.7% higher than moved into
construction in the previous month. The construction value of projects that commenced over October also increased,
by 7% on the previous month, to AU$3.8 billion.”

October saw the release of several important documents that will influence the future construction Landscape of New
South Wales.

Firstly, the draft Greater Sydney Region Plan for 2017 was handed down by the Greater Sydney Commission. While
an ambitious plan, it outlines Greater Sydney in 2056 as a “metropolis of three cities”. The first is the ‘Eastern
Harbour City’, which describes the main Sydney CBD we know today.

The second is the ‘Central River City’, which aims to make Parramatta the centre of the Sydney Metropolitan. The third is the ‘Western Parkland’ city, which will centre on the site of the Badgerys Creek Airport. Perhaps most ambitiously, the plan outlines a ’30 minute city’, in which all homes will be located within a 30 minute commute of a metropolitan centre.

Concurrently, the NSW government had released its Future Transport Strategy to 2056. The plan emphasises the
delivery of metropolitan transport services such as the Sydney Metro North West, Sydney Metro City and Southwest
and light rail for the city and Parramatta. It also emphasised future projects that will create greater connectivity in
regional NSW, such as new regional train fleets and innovation of regional freight networks.

In closing, Ms Owen said, “In the physical building space, the move away from residential is becoming more
pronounced in NSW. Major construction events over October centred around commercial and mixed use precincts.
“Despite ambitious plans for development in New South Wales, Victoria dominated the value of pipeline development
applications at $6.2 billion in October.”

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