The ABS September quarter ‘construction work complete’ data continues to show mixed fortunes for residential, commercial and engineering constructions sectors.

“The data shows a continuation of recent sectoral trends, despite a small correction in residential construction activity” states the National Manager of Master Builders Australia, Nathan Pollock.

“Residential construction activity dipped during the quarter, recording negative growth of 3.1% but it’s a bit early to mark this as a turn of fortunes. Taking a longer view presents a much more positive story, with growth recorded in four of the last five quarters, and up 9.9% over the year. The recent quarterly result ends the longest run of uninterrupted growth in the residential building sector since March 2003” he said.

“The renovations and alterations sector remains a bright spot for the industry, with healthy growth over the year of 3.7%. An upward revision to the data this quarter has meant performance in the renovations sector was even more positive than the data was showing, with the value of renovations and alterations holding firm above the coveted $2billion mark for seven consecutive quarters.”

Elsewhere the commercial sector took a dive. Activity was down 10.9% over the September quarter 2016, wiping out the small gains recorded over the previous year.

“These latest results show there is still some way to go before the commercial construction sector is on a sustained growth path. The better results recorded earlier in the year turned out to be a dead cat bounce, and the next 12 months is likely to put up more mixed results. That said, the worst for the commercial construction sector is likely behind us” Pollock said.

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