Cranes Popping Up Across The Country as Construction Picks Up - Queensland Property Investor
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Cranes Popping Up Across The Country as Construction Picks Up

Cranes Popping Up Across The Country as Construction Picks Up

Sustained demand for high-quality commercial projects in Sydney and Melbourne has seen construction activity pick up across major city markets.

According to the latest RLB Crane Index, which does the twice-yearly count of tower cranes in state and territory capitals, the number of cranes building new commercial projects across the country lifted by 17 per cent.

The index reveals a slight four crane increase compared to the previous edition released last month, rising to a new record total of 757 cranes across the country.

Strong growth in non-residential sectors has seen the index rise to its highest level since commencement, lifting by 11 per cent on a like for like basis thanks to new starts in the commercial, mixed- use and civil sectors.

The pickup in commercial construction has coincided with mega-project inner-city developments in Sydney, such as Barangaroo and the $5 billion revamp of Circular Quay—arguably the most photographed precinct in the country.

Further south new builds in Melbourne include 80 Collins Street by Dexus and Melbourne Quarter by Lendlease.

Across inner-city markets cranes have risen by 4 per cent over the past six months, highlighting the movement of cranes from outer- city suburbs back into inner-city areas.

Crane Activity – Australia by Key Cities

CityQ1 2019Q3 2019

The total number of cranes across Sydney increased by nine to 319, with the city’s residential sector suffering the most number of crane removals—dropping by 19—due to the recent housing downturn reducing residential construction by 2.5 per cent.

Across the state construction work done continued to grow, lifting 2 per cent in chain volume terms while engineering work remained constant.

“Visually, cranes across Sydney appear to be following the significant spend on transport infrastructure,” RLB director research and development Domenic Schiafone said.

“These are north along the Pacific highway, west along Parramatta Road, northeast along the M2 and south along the Kingsway.”

Melbourne’s total crane count contracted for the first time in three years with a decrease of 9 net cranes since the previous edition six months ago.

Across the city, 94 cranes were added to projects and 104 were removed, to reach a total of 213 cranes.

Melbourne also saw a net loss of cranes in the residential, commercial and mixed-use sectors, reducing by 3 to 145, shrinking for the first time in the past six reports.

The city’s commercial sector fell by three cranes with eight additions and 11 removals.

New cranes were sighted at Seek headquarters in Cremorne, Nexus Corporate Park, 555 Collins Street, 254-294 Wellington Road and Park Street in South Melbourne.

Melbourne Square also saw an additional commercial crane installed.

Infrastructure projects have continued to Melbourne currently has 13 cranes involved on the Melbourne Metro Tunnel and Western Distributor projects—including associated infrastructure and in ground services diversions.

Similarly the education sector has seen crane additions at Royal Victorian Ear and Eye Hospital, Mecwacare in Malvern, Goulburn Valley Health in Shepparton and Northern Hospital in Epping.

Crane Activity – Australia by Key Cities

SectorQ1 2019Q3 2019
Mixed Use3035

Brisbane lost a further two cranes—and a net 15 in the residential sector—in the latest report to slip to 57.

Inner Brisbane still has the majority of cranes around Brisbane increasing to 67 per cent from 59 per cent.

In West End, Sekisui House’s West Village still has three cranes erected but the mixed-use 300 George Street site has had one crane removed.

The Gold Coast saw a fall in cranes from 213 to 193 with sixteen cranes added and 19 were removed bringing the coast’s total to 29 with a net decline in residential cranes partly offset by new cranes on retail projects.

The residential sector accounts for 86 per cent of all Gold Coast cranes, falling slightly seeing 13 new cranes placed on sites and 18 removed, bringing the sector count to 25.

RLB director Domenic Schiafone told The Urban Developer that while Sydney was more prone to boom-and-bust-like cycles, Melbourne, with a stronger population growth, was likely to be more reliable.

“In terms of multi-unit residential we don’t necessarily see huge spikes in construction over the next six to 12 months.”

“We have probably peaked and will see some decline but levels will still be on the higher end compared to the 10 year average fuelled by population growth.”

“CBD commercial has been quite flat in Melbourne, Brisbane and to some degree Sydney therefore we should also see some increases there.”




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The Brisbane suburbs where house prices are higher than last year

The Brisbane suburbs where house prices are higher than last year

The historic suburb of Windsor in Brisbane’s north has seen the biggest growth in median house prices in the last year, with a 17.2 per cent increase year-on-year.

New figures from Domain have revealed the top 10 suburbs whose median house price has risen the most year-on-year. Despite a largely flat market, there are still plenty of suburbs where prices are surging.

Windsor had the highest increase in median house price at 17.2 per cent year-on-year, followed in second place by the leafy inner-western suburb of Auchenflower which saw a 11.4 per cent increase.

Other suburbs in the top 10 include Queenslander paradise Newmarket (10.9 per cent increase), the massive blocks at Bridgeman Downs (9.8 per cent increase), and the outer-western suburb of Heathwood (8.3 per cent increase).

Ray White Wilston principal Allistair Macmillan said the massive increases in price at top performer Windsor were likely due to the suburb not always getting the recognition it deserved.

“For a long time Windsor has been slightly undervalued,” he said. “It’s so close to Wilston and Grange. [They’ve] always been supremely popular with families, I think Windsor was dragging the chain a little bit with those values.

“When you look at values in Windsor, they can vary quite a large degree depending on whereabouts in Windsor they are positioned. What we’ve found is that now the difference between the two sides of Gympie Road is nowhere near as prevalent as it once was.

“Of late, people have really come and been able to see the value Windsor does offer.”

Mr Macmillan said other contributing factors include the recent multimillion-dollar redevelopment of the Albion public transport exchange. Buyers on the eastern side of the suburb in particular have expressed interest in the plan.

The Brisbane suburbs where house prices are higher than last year 1

The vast majority of buyers in the area are younger families who are looking to be in the Windsor State School catchment area, and are attracted to the many local parks, bikeways, and public transport options.

“Stock is incredibly tight,” Mr Macmillan said. “Generally speaking if you look at the volume of properties, there’s not a lot that are for sale in Windsor. It’s still a very tightly held suburb.”

Elsewhere, the northern suburb of Northgate also fared very well, with a median house price increase of 8.9 per cent year-on-year. Local agent Dwight Colbert at Ray White Aspley said the location and amenities were the big drawcards.

“[We’ve seen] popularity due to the proximity to the Brisbane CBD, Brisbane Airport, and also an array of public transport,” he said. “You are on the Northgate train line, which is the main one on the north side, and the hub.

“You’re between Nundah Village, you’ve got Banyo Village, you’ve got good access to the Gateway [Motorway], Toombul Road, Sandgate Road, Gympie Road. It’s quite a desirable locality to get in and out of everywhere.”

Mr Colbert said the area was traditionally seen as a haven for older buyers, but in recent years many young couples and professionals had taken the plunge.

The Brisbane suburbs where house prices are higher than last year

“There is a lot of property development going on in Northgate as well,” he said. “So a lot of the older, bigger blocks are being subdivided. Which is also certainly going to help with the average house price.”

West Brisbane family-favourite Auchenflower pulled out a particularly impressive result, posting a 11.4 per cent increase in median house price year-on-year. This makes it the third-most expensive suburb in the city, up from 12th last year.

Place West principal Andrew Degn credits the suburb’s massive gains to the recent completion of major infrastructure in the area.

“Five or six years ago they finally finished gentrification of the old Milton tennis centre and turned it into a park called Frew Park, which is adjacent to [Milton State School], and the playground, and that goes through to the Rosalie village,” he said.

Auchenflower also features the Wesley Hospital, the recently upgraded Milton State School, and various inbound and outbound public transport options. Mr Degn was so passionate about the area he decided to buy and live there himself.

“Real estate people are supposed to know good real estate, and I live in Auchenflower,” he said with a laugh. “So there you go, I’m personally responsible for pushing the price up.”

Top 10 suburbs with the largest house price increase since last year

1. Windsor – 17.2%
2. Auchenflower – 11.4%
3. Newmarket – 10.9%
4. Yamanto – 9.9%
5. Northgate – 8.9%
6. Heathwood – 8.3%
7. Brassall – 8.1%
8. Toowong – 7.6%
9. St. Lucia – 7.4%
10. Hendra – 7.1%
11. Karana Downs – 7.1%
12. Indooroopilly – 6.9%




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Five Australian Cities Make World’s Top 30 Luxury Residential Markets

Five Australian Cities Make World’s Top 30 Luxury Residential Markets

Australia’s ultra-luxury residential market, largely unaffected by the impact of recent lending restrictions, has continued to record positive growth in the prestige sector of the market.

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Perth make up the five Australian cities which rank in the world’s top 30 cities for luxury residential price growth.

The major east coast cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast have now recorded 25 quarters, or more, of positive annual growth for luxury property, according to Knight Frank’s Prime Global Cities Index for the third quarter 2019.

Defined as the most desirable and expensive property in a given location, prime property is generally the top 5 per cent of each market, by value.

Sydney ranks 17th in the global rankings, with 2.6 per cent annual growth, Melbourne at 21st spot recording 2 per cent growth.

Brisbane followed closely ranking 22nd with 2 per cent growth, the Gold Coast which was included in the Index for the first time earlier this year moved up the rankings to 26 with a 1.3 per cent increase, and Perth ranked at 30th recording a 0.7 per cent rise.

Knight Frank’s Prime Global Cities Index

City12-Month Change (Q3 2018 -Q3 2019)
1. Moscow11.1%
2. Frankfurt10.3%
3. Taipei8.9%
4. Manila7.4%
5. Berlin6.5%
6. Guangzhou6.2%
7. Geneva5.6%
8. Zurich4.5%
9. Delhi4.4%
10. Madrid4.2%
17. Sydney2.6%
21. Melbourne2%
22. Brisbane2%
26. Gold Coast1.3%
30. Perth0.7%

Knight Frank’s head of prestige Residential Deborah Cullen says the top end of the market is showing more consideration and time in transacting.

“There is still strong interest from local and expat buyers for blue ribbon areas and for “best in class” assets, in particular the waterfront areas of Sydney,” Cullen said.

“Growth in prime property prices closely follows the performance on the stock exchange,” Knight Frank head of residential research Michelle Ciesielski said.

“And there have been some significant gains made on the Australian sharemarket in 2019.

“Collectively the Australian prime market has continued to see sustainable growth of 2 per cent in the year ending September 2019, whilst the sharemarket recorded a 7.7 per cent return,” Ciesielski said.

Slowdown gathers pace in top-tier cities

The global cities index increased by just 1.1 per cent in the year to September 2019, down from 3.4 per cent last year, with slower prime price growth attributable to mounting economic headwinds.

Despite a longer-than-expected period of loose monetary policy and steady wealth creation, the report notes that luxury sales volumes are at their weakest for several years in many of the first tier global cities.

“Slower global economic growth– the IMF lowered its 2019 forecast from 3.3 per cent to 3 per cent in October – along with escalating headwinds: US-China trade relations, Hong Kong’s political tensions, a US presidential election in 2020 and the Brexit conundrum are influencing buyer sentiment,” the index notes.

Moscow recorded the highest rate of growth with an 11 per cent increase over the year to September.

The report notes that Moscow leads the index largely due to strengthening demand and the completion of a number of high-end projects in prime areas like Ostozhenka and Tverskoy.

The prime global cities index is a valuation-based index that tracks the movement in prime residential prices in local currency, using data, across 40 cities.




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Brisbane Plans CBD Riverfront Renewal

Brisbane Plans CBD Riverfront Renewal

New plans to revitalise Brisbane’s CBD riverfront, a 1.2 kilometre stretch of river frontage from the City Botanic Gardens to Howard Smith Wharves, has been released.

New ferry and CityCat terminals are included in Brisbane City Council’s draft master-plan, which aims to improve river access and cement the CBD river frontage into “a world-class employment and lifestyle precinct”.

The draft plan includes an increase of the current pathway to an eight-metre-wide promenade which would span the riverfront, and includes an increase of green-space, trees, and public art.

“This is just one of the ways we are making the Brisbane of tomorrow even better than the Brisbane of today,” Brisbane City Council said of the draft plans released on Thursday.

Brisbane Plans CBD Riverfront Renewal 1

The riverfront precinct is currently home to more than 30 dining destinations and 1.6 hectares of parkland.

The draft plan also includes a proposed new green bridge connection at Kangaroo Point.

“It’s part of our bigger plan to connect people and places,” City Planning Chair Matthew Bourke said.

Bourke says the draft plan took cues from well-known waterfronts, including the likes of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf and Singapore’s Marina Bay.

Property giant Dexus is under way on its $1.4 billion Waterfront project transforming Brisbane’s Eagle Street Pier.

Council’s draft masterplan for Brisbane’s riverfront will be open to public consultation from Monday 11 November through to early December.

The final masterplan will be released in 2020.




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