No End in Sight for Australia’s Construction Boom

Australia is in the grips of the biggest housing construction boom recorded since records began in 1983 largely due to easy monetary policy, average population growth levels and high levels of housing demand, in part led by Chinese offshore investors.

Chris Johnson, CEO of Urban Taskforce Australia, a developer lobby group believes the time to cash in on the property boom is now. "When the confidence is in, the interest rates are low and the investment is flowing in from offshore, it's an ideal time to boost our housing supply."

January 2015 saw record highs of 19,282 building approvals being greenlighted, setting a new total annual housing construction approval record of 203,182 with the demand for town houses, apartments and semi-detached housing going through the roof in NSW and increasing at a moderate rate throughout the rest of Australia.

NSW alone expects the current annual construction dollar value to rise from the already high level of $42.591 billion in 2013/14 to $46 billion by 2016/17. With over 65,000 new construction workers being employed over the last year, job opportunities are on the rise. Bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers and other skilled labourers, not to mention project managers, commercial contract administrators and structure forepersons are in demand with so many upcoming medium to high density housing projects throughout Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney ready to begin. With no signs of investment slowing down, the boom is expected to continue for a few more years.

The unit market is leading the surge, with 6,940 units being approved in January 2015 compared to only 4,986 houses. Since the middle of 2012, unit approvals have generally overtaken housing approvals pointing to the rise in popularity of inner-city living as our cities continue to sprawl and Baby Boomers and the elderly continue to downsize.

Noel Lucas-Martinez, managing Director of NSW Project Marketing for Knight Frank recognises that apartment style living is where the demand is concentrated within today’s housing market. 'Now that the market is a bit more active, we're starting to see more downsizers looking at apartments for the next phase of their life.''

The housing boom may also prove helpful to younger home buyers. With today’s youth struggling to enter the home ownership market, the consensus within the building industry is that the only way to push costs down to affordable levels for first home buyer, is to increase the supply of homes available.

So whether you are in real estate, a construction employee, business owner, or developer, you can look forward to sunny days ahead within the building and construction sector.  

For a look at the forecast for each state please take a look at the Business Insider Forecast.

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