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Top 20 Hotspots for Residential Construction

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Rockbank at Mount Cottrell in Victoria has taken the crown as the country’s number one hotspot in terms of population and residential building construction this year.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has released its annual Population and Residential Building Hotspots report for 2019. It highlights the fastest growing suburbs and regional areas around the country when taking into account population growth and value of residential building works approved over $150m. The report aims to identify employment growth areas and targets builders and tradies by identifying hotspots in all states and territories. 

According to the HIA report, an area needs to fulfil two requirements to qualify as a hotspot. At least $150 million worth of residential building work needed to be approved during the 2017/18 financial year, and its rate of population growth should be faster than the 1.6 per cent national average. 

The report aims to identify employment growth areas and targets builders and tradies by identifying hotspots in all states and territories. 

Mount Cottrell has beat last year’s top spot Mickleham – Yuroke, also located in Victoria. The latter placed second in 2019. Major infrastructure projects including upgrades to the train station and train lines as well as a new six-lane arterial road connecting the area have the area predicted to be a hotspot next year as well.

Melbourne secured 12 of the top 20 spots in this year’s report, on the back of significant investment in infrastructure and the region’s growing professional services sector. 

“The majority of the growth is in the fringe of Melbourne as the city expands, although inner city suburbs such as Southbank and Docklands are also enjoying strong growth as they change to accommodate higher density living,” HIA Chief economist Tim Reardon said in a press release. 

Rouse Hill – Beaumont Hills in Sydney’s North West is a new addition to the top 20 hotspots. It came in 11th, with a population growth rate of 10.6 per cent and $742.9 million in approvals. 

Tasmania, WA, SA, NT and ACT all failed to make the top 20 hotspots list this year. Queensland is home to five of the country’s hotspots for 2019, with NSW claiming three places, all of which have a significantly higher economic value than the other hotspots.

“Because the residential building industry is cooling, the number of future hotspots is likely to be more centralised to major capital cities, such as Melbourne and Sydney,” said Mr Reardon. 

The residential building industry declined significantly at the end of 2018, but it still saw more than 200,000 new homes built, breaking records for the fifth consecutive year. It is not likely to continue on that trajectory in 2019 as most of the construction has been completed. 

Tightened lending criteria has had a significant impact on demand, which further affected a cooling market. 

ABS building approval figures show that dwelling approvals peaked at the end of 2017. The downturn was more pronounced through 2018, with data showing falls of 37.5 per cent by January this year. This fall is particularly evident in case of multi-unit approvals which are now 48.5 per cent lower in the same three-month period to January 2019 compared with the same time in the previous year. On the other hand, approvals for detached houses have remained stable, although they have dropped by 7.7 per cent in January 2019 when compared with last year. 

Despite declines, the HIA report showed good residential construction activity in the country’s top 20 hotspots, which were:

Area City/State Residential Buildings approved 2017/18 ($’000) Annual Population Growth Rate (%)
1 Rockbank Mount Cottrell Melbourne West (VIC) 224,229 59.4
2 Mickleham-Yuroke Melbourne North West (VIC) 437,356 52.2
3 Pimpama Gold Coast (QLD) 282,411 29.5
4 Riverstone-Marsden Park Sydney/Blacktown (NSW) 960,560 23.2
5 Cranbourne East Melbourne South East (VIC) 762,701 21.2
6 Cobbity – Leppington Sydney Southwest (NSW) 775,540 19.9
7 Wollert Melbourne North East (VIC) 202,364 19.3
8 Ripley Ipswich (QLD) 163,961 17.6
9 Beaconsfield – Officer Melbourne South East (VIC) 263,744 13.8
10 Eagle Farm – Pinkemba Brisbane North (QLD) 153,024 13.8
11 Rouse Hill-Beaumont Hills Sydney Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury (NSW) 742,881 10.6
12 Point Cook East Melbourne West (VIC) 250,558 10.6
13 Southbank Melbourne Inner (VIC) 681,624 9.8
14 Springfield Lakes Ipswich (QLD) 214,226 9.8
15 Truganina Melbourne West (VIC) 251,891 9.5
16 South Brisbane Brisbane Inner City 213,630 9.3
17 Tameit Melbourne West (VIC) 387,840 9.2
18 Docklands Melbourne Inner (VIC) 273,896 9.2
19 Cranbourne South Melbourne South East (VIC) 204.746 9.2
20 Werribee West Melbourne East (VIC) 208,764 9.0


The hotspots identified in this year’s report are based on population growth and residential building approvals during the 2017/18 financial year, which are the latest localised estimates available. Data on building approvals has been uploaded up to January 2019 and is the latest data available. 

The HIA report also identifies building hotspots by State and Territory, even where they may not have featured in the Top 20 listing. HIA members can download the full report here

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