The Rider Levett Bucknall quarterly crane index has been released showing the number of cranes across Australia’s skylines continue to climb.
In Q1 2022, crane numbers across Australia increased by 95, a 13% increase on the last quarter. This is the highest number of cranes seen across Australia since the inaugural count, twenty editions ago.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction industry has shown remarkable resilience.
Construction work done for the calendar year 2021 was up by 1.8%, (or $3.7B), across Australia compared to 2020.
Total residential work done increased by 4.9% (or $3.5B), and engineering activity also increased by 0.9%. Non-residential activity dropped by 1.4% (or $0.7B).
Strong growth in approval levels through 2021 saw a lift in the total value of approvals of 22% across the nation. Multi-level apartments (+21%), houses (+31%), health (+97%) and industrial (+27%), all significantly contributed to this increase strong crane growth was seen in all sectors with the non-residential sector recording another strong result recording its fourth record high over the past four editions of the Index.
With record levels of residential approvals across the country, the residential index rose for the first time in six editions.
The Federal Government’s residential construction stimulus measures assisted the economy, with the sector recording an increase of 63 cranes in this edition.
The residential index rose by 14%, the highest value since Q3 2019. Residential cranes now number 506, or 62% of all cranes across Australia.
Multi-storey residential developments have recovered from their fourth consecutive fall, mirroring the rise in building approvals and work done in this subsector during 2021.
The non-residential index continued to rise, recording 267 cranes—up 12% compared to Q1 2021.
This index result is another record level since the inception of the index. The industries hit hardest by the lockdowns during 2020 and 2021, namely tourism, retail and commercial, recorded rises in crane numbers in this edition.
Commercial rose by 10 cranes, hotels by one and retail by two. The civil and civic sectors saw a small drop with a loss of four cranes each. Recreation fell by two cranes. Health (up eight) and mixed use / other (up 18), both recorded increases in crane numbers across the country.
Since our last edition, 363 cranes were added to our skylines and 258 were removed. Sydney’s crane numbers increased by 53 (56% of the total increase recorded) to total 348 cranes. This represents 43% of all cranes across the country. Perth and Melbourne recorded double figure lifts in crane numbers of 18 and 12 respectively. On a percentage basis, both Adelaide and Perth recorded crane rises of more than 40% when compared to Q3 2021 results