Victoria’s building boom

According to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Victoria’s booming building and construction industry brushed off the lingering effects of Melbourne’s sixth lockdown to powerhouse the nation in construction activity for the first time.

More than $15 billion of work was carried out in Victoria between July and September 2021, up almost 6 per cent from the previous quarter. Leading economists say the strong performance of Victoria’s building and construction industry may have saved the national economy from a tougher landing than expected in the September 2021 quarter. This follows from the latest figures that demonstrate that total construction work done accounted for just over 12 per cent of total economic activity in Victoria in the last fiscal year in adjusted prices.

Master Builders Australia’s Chief Economist Shane Garrett said Victoria was leading the nation in building and construction activity. “During 2020-21, work began on more than 46,000 new detached houses across Victoria,” he said. “This was more than every other state and was the highest annual total Victoria has seen since records began back in 1969.

The latest ABS data provides preliminary estimates of the value of total construction work, building work, and engineering construction work carried out in the September 2021 quarter.

Despite Victoria’s strong performance propping up the national balance sheet, the value of total construction work done nationally fell by 0.3 per cent in the September 2021 quarter to $53.9 billion. The fall was driven by the 0.9 per cent reduction in the volume of building work done which declined to $30.4 billion. However, completed building work is still 3.2 per cent higher than at the same time last year.