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Cranes Indicate a Strong Commercial Construction Sector

Commercial cranes are keeping the construction industry stable for now. This is despite a fall in the number of residential cranes we see in our skies.

There are approximately 684 cranes working on projects around Australia. Unfortunately, the number of cranes used on residential projects has fallen by 10 per cent this quarter. It’s the first decline in residential cranes for the past three years.

This is according to the RLB Crane Index, developed by consulting firm Rider Lovett Bucknall. We discussed the idea of the RLB Crane Index in a previous article. By counting how many cranes there are in the sky, we can get a sense of the health of the construction sector in our capital cities.

The good news for our clients is there has been a rise in the number of cranes used in commercial projects. The non-residential index rose by 42 per cent for Q2 2018. Commercial cranes are offsetting the decline in residential cranes. Office, hotels and retail are some of the prime sources of the activity. Indeed, demand for new office space is strong. In Sydney, Sixty Martin Place is indicating significant leasing interest.

Sydney is where the action is.

Sydney actually saw the most number of cranes, accounting for 346 – more than half of the national total. The CBD and surrounding suburbs have 10 per cent of these cranes, but the West of the city has the most with 32 per cent of cranes. This is bound to be increase with new million dollar investments going into Western Sydney, which we also previously discussed.

The Property Council of Australia reported that the Sydney CBD office market is the strongest CBD market in the country. Sydney has the lowest vacancy rate in about a decade. It dropped from 5.8 per cent to 4.6 per cent in the six months to January this year. They also reported that supply will increase over the next few years, with over 85,000 square metres entering the market this year and over 147,000 by 2020.

Our clients have significant opportunities to capitalise on the strong commercial construction environment. Please contact our experts in construction and large-scale commercial projects today.