One of the unexpected outcomes of this record construction cycle has been that Melbourne’s assumed structural oversupply of dwellings never really arrived, except for high-rise apartments in some isolated pockets.
Why were the forecasts and forecasters wrong?
Partly because of the weakness of the respective economies or Perth, Darwin, and Adelaide, Melbourne began to attract migrants from interstate as well as overseas.
The population growth in the city accelerated ahead of even the record levels of construction.
The headline numbers for New South Wales don’t look too far out of whack, with about 61,600 dwellings completed in 2017, while dwelling starts are now easing.
But Sydney did still have a record number of apartments under construction at the last count, so there is a big pool of stock yet to be absorbed, despite record high population growth.
Queensland’s developers didn’t anticipate the post-resources boom employment and population slowdown, and thousands of planned apartment builds have now been scrapped.
I’ve heard the figure of 10,000 proposed Brisbane apartments being cancelled bandied around — though I haven’t substantiated it, so that’s one for you to research, dear reader.
Brisbane’s population growth is up by +30 per cent over the past two financial years to about 48,000 — and it’s rising fast — so at the headline level the market is now quite quickly swinging back into equilibrium.
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