Construction bottom line: 'prepare for change' in place and work
The real bottom line of an industry forecast is the outlook for its people.
The latest forecasts for the building and construction industry are set to reveal that while the total number of people working in the building of homes, businesses and roads remains steady, some people are best to prepare to move, as the location and type of work is soon to change.
Australian Construction Industry Forum's November release of the ACIF Forecasts shows that the shudders of moderating economic growth are being felt across the country, directly affecting the types of work available for professionals and tradespeople alike in building and construction.
"The influence of international economics as well as domestic confidence and policy are strong across our industry," says Peter Barda, executive director of Australian Construction Industry Forum.
"The well worn patterns of past decades are no longer valid, and the emerging picture of the next ten years presented in this Forecast release are important information for businesses large and small."
Record low interest rates are looming, triggering a strong rebound in demand for residential building and renovation. Due to homeowners and wannabes enjoying access to cheaper cash, the industry will benefit from new greenfield development, from suburbs increasing the number of apartments and townhouses, through to smaller scale improvements to existing homes.
New South Wales leads the building rebound, offering opportunities for workers not required by a down-cycling Victorian residential sector, while the industry waits with baited breath for the cash-rich Queenslanders to open their wallets.
The non residential building sector will retain its flat trend however it's what lies beneath the line that intrigues. Changing approaches to workplaces, including new ways to accommodate people in an office environment, are seeing a significant impact on the demand for office building and refurbishment. This sector is highly vulnerable to change, as a reduction in a capital city's space per person by just 1m2 equates to three years net demand.
Contrastingly, a bullish retail sector is taking up the opportunity of a quiet time to remodel, extend and refresh, as the fears of internet shopping reducing overall retail spend evaporate.
Some of the workers to deliver these jobs will be coming home from the big money work in engineering construction. The ACIF Forecasts confirm that mining work has indeed peaked however the fall from the peak is steady with plenty of committed work yet to be completed. The new Australian Government's promises on roads will pick up labour drifting from mining work, while the telecommunications category waits for confirmation on NBN, as indeed do another major telecoms players.
ACIF Forecasts are produced by industry body Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF), with the next release at the ACIF Briefings on 12-14 November in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane - followed by discussion and debate with local industry experts to clarify the biggest issues facing the industry in each region.
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