Global construction activity the strongest since GFC, says new survey

Global construction activity the strongest since GFC, says new survey
Global construction activity the strongest since GFC, says new survey

The future is looking "very bright" for global construction markets with synchronised activity upswing in Australia, the USA, Europe, Japan and China, according to a new survey.

Turner & Townsend’s International Construction Market Survey 2018 shows that of the 46 global markets examined, 21 expect to warm up, 23 are set for stability, and only two are likely to cool.

Sydney and Melbourne are considered hot, Brisbane is lukewarm and Perth is cold. 

Global construction costs are expected to rise 4.3% in 2018, following a 4.1% increase in 2017.

New York repeated its ranking taking the number one spot for the most expensive place to undertake construction activities.

San Francisco, Hong Kong, Zurich and London subsequently followed. Sydney was again positioned at number nine, with Melbourne ranked at 19, Brisbane placed at 21 and Perth at 23.

Sydney construction costs are expected to increase by 4% in 2018, the same as 2017.

Melbourne will rise by 2% to 4%, Perth is expected to increase by 1.5%, and Brisbane to ease by 1% to 3% overall for 2018.

Global construction costs are set to rise 4.3% in 2018, following a 4.1% increase in 2017.

The survey analyses input costs, such as labour and materials, and charts the average construction cost per square metre for residential, commercial, industrial, retail, hotels, hospitals, schools, car parks and airports (buildings only).

 Global construction activity the strongest since GFC, says new survey

Gary Emmett, economist for Turner & Townsend, says 2018 was set to be the strongest construction year that we have witnessed since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), which is boosting optimism.

"The GFC cast a black cloud over the industry for many years, however that has now lifted," Emmett said.

"Since the GFC, growth amongst the major advanced economies averaged half the pace of the previous 10 years.

“Synchronised global growth looks set to increase the construction industry activity, driven by Australia, the USA, Europe, Japan and China."

The Middle East and UK are notable exceptions to experiencing an upswing. 

He added that Federal and state governments in Australia are planning to invest over $50 billon in significant infrastructure projects over the next decade, including Western Sydney Airport. major road and rail projects are ramping up, boosting the local economies and demand for trade skills.

"Tunneling is a focus. Sydney Metro Rail is delivering 15 kilometres of tunnels, and Westconnex, a mostly underground 33 kilometre roadway, is underway.

"Melbourne is starting the West Gate Tunnel project and Monash freeway upgrade, while Queensland is delivering Cross River Rail.”

The report noted Sydney and Melbourne are witnessing strong growth in financial services, and real estate, with 17% jobs growth during the year. Unemployment has fallen to 5.4%.

Sydney residential construction spend is up by 47% since the 2016 international report.

Over the same period construction costs are showing an average 11% increase, while non-residential construction (hotels, offices and retail) activity was up by 11%.

The Melbourne residential construction market grew by 17% during the same period, showing an average cost increase of 4%, while non-residential market activity rose by 17%.

Brisbane’s residential construction market increased by 12%, showing an average cost upswing of 9%. Non-residential market activity also grew by 12%.

Perth’s residential construction market fell by 31%. Construction costs were also down by 2% and non-residential construction activity fell by 8%.

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Global construction activity the strongest since GFC, says new survey

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Global construction activity the strongest since GFC, says new survey

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