Construction Trends SA

Construction Trends South Australia

No Australian states emerged from the 2008 financial crisis unharmed. Some, however, have been recovering at faster rates than others. While Tasmania and Queensland’s Gold Coast continue to suffer from depressed economies and low construction activity, others look set to shine once again. Successful states include New South Wales and Northern Territory. Where, then, does South Australia stand in terms of construction?

The South Australian construction industry shows solid statistics, with some sectors improving and stronger rates than others. There has been a general upward movement in activity since 2009, characterised by slight 1.9% annual growth rates.

Short-term statistics reveal an increased approval rate for the construction of residential homes. However, the long-term picture looks less than exciting. A low population growth rate means that fewer people are looking to build homes – this means little or no growth in the residential sector for the coming years. Residential renovations are also down, and property prices in Adelaide have dropped by 0.4%

Commercial Construction Trends

This sector is similarly weak as there is less demand for competitive office space. This is a disappointing reality for forecasters who actually anticipated growth in this sector, especially with the creation of Central Tower 8, the biggest commercial building in Adelaide. Salt was also rubbed into the wounds of analysts who predicted a boost to the civil sector. The expansion of the Olympic Dam was expected to inject much-needed life into civil construction, but sadly, failed to make an impact.

Other types of Non-Residential Construction

The Australian Construction Industry Forum anticipates modest levels of improvement in these sectors. The hope lies with the industrial sector, as large projects are expected to bring jobs to the state. These include the expansion of the Torrens Island Power Station, the Cherokee Power Station and the construction of the Woakwine Wind Farm. Commerce might also come into play here, with the creation of the Lucky Boy Common User Export Facility.


Engineering looks set to level off in the coming years, with no dips or growth expected for the future. This sector of the SA construction industry is solidly consistent, with continual demands for workers in transport, electrical engineering, pipeline-fitting, sewerage management and water control. Heavy construction may come into play in the coming years, with the anticipation of big recreational projects.

The engineering sector may be consistent, but plateaued statistics are hardly exciting. However, the ACIF believes that they are still good by historic standards. Experts think that the telecommunications industry could have a major role to play in SA construction in the coming years.


Employment in South Australia is holding up in spite of these uninspiring statistics. While the residential sector features low employment figures, the engineering and non-residential sectors are experiencing minimal forms of growth. An increase in staffing is anticipated for the coming years. 70 000 more jobs are expected to be added to the construction industry.

From the looks of things, South Australian tradespeople need not worry about a lack of employment opportunities. The most in-demand trades in South Australia right now are electro-technology, telecommunications and engineering.

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