Melbourne gears up for second construction wave: Savills

Melbourne gears up for second construction wave: Savills
Melbourne gears up for second construction wave: Savills

Melbourne’s construction boom is getting another boost with another $42 billion of projects set to commence within just two kilometres of Melbourne’s CBD, fuelling a second wave of local and international investment with investors from Europe, China, Singapore, Malaysia, the UK and the US attracted by the city's population growth and development pipeline, according to Savills.

The construction boom, which has produced a record 160 cranes on the skyline - mostly on new apartment towers to accommodate population growth and overseas students – will now see a whole new round of residential tower construction, new hotel construction on the back of a rise in tourist numbers, and at least $20 billion of major infrastructure projects including Melbourne Metro railway and Flinders Street station, hospital, road and sporting upgrades.

"The stimulus provided by all of this development and new infrastructure is driving a whole new level of investment in Melbourne in all sectors of the commercial property market including office and retail assets, subdivision land, car parks, shopping centres, hotels and development sites, and investor confidence in Melbourne is soaring as a result," said Savills’ state sales director Clinton Baxter. 

"Obviously, we’re experiencing a massive rush of capital into our market from interstate, China, Malaysia and Singapore, but the attraction of Melbourne has now spread globally with assets being sold to international interests from Canada, the Netherlands, UK, USA, India and New Zealand. We’ve also had investors out from Botswana, Indonesia, Germany, Russia, Vietnam, Korea and Japan scouring the Melbourne market for opportunities.

Savills’ analyst Mark Stafford said the apartment construction boom, already five years old, was set to escalate with a huge new round of apartment tower construction led by Australia 108 in Southbank, the 92-level Aurora development opposite Melbourne Central, and a further 20 plus apartment towers in excess of 200 metres in height already in pre-sales or early stages of development.

Hotel construction is also in full swing as local and international hotel operators scramble to take advantage of the record high room occupancy rates throughout the city, he said.

Stafford said the 110 projects totalling $42.035 billion and ranging from $25 million to $11 billion included:

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 Melbourne gears up for second construction wave: Savills

Baxter said the most significant drivers for international investors were Melbourne’s rapid population growth, its most liveable city status, and its nation-leading overseas student/education sector, while the combination of stable government and a relatively safe social environment were additional factors which added up to a very sound investment CV. 

The low Australian dollar was the icing on the cake, making the investment rationale extremely compelling, said Baxter.

He said after a slow start in the role, Victorian Planning Minister, Richard Wynne had also played a major role in rapidly restoring confidence in the development sector with a spate of major new apartment tower approvals throughout the CBD, Docklands, Fisherman’s Bend and Southbank amounting to several billion dollars of future development. 

"Inner Melbourne is maturing rapidly, Docklands is filling fast, our population is set to double to eight million by 2050, student and tourist numbers are rapidly trending upwards, tens of thousands of construction jobs are being created, which in turn fuels housing and retail spending, and all levels of government are actively promoting development in the inner urban area.

"We limited our assessment to larger projects within just two kilometres of Melbourne’s CBD. When you take into account all the projects throughout the whole metropolitan area, plus additional major infrastructure investment such as the Melbourne Airport and Port of Melbourne expansions, the weight of investment into Melbourne’s growth is absolutely enormous and extremely exciting for all market participants.

"Melbourne is firmly on the map for global investors, and with so much scheduled growth, we are already experiencing the emergence of a second wave of international investment.’’

Melbourne Commercial Market


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