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Crane Numbers Lift for the First Time in Two Years


Crane numbers across Australia’s largest cities have increased for the first time in two years.

The number of cranes across Australian city skylines rose to 691 according to Rider Levett Bucknall’s latest count, an increase of 16 cranes during the past six months.

The mixed-use sector had the biggest rise with an additional 26 cranes while education and civil sectors, supported by government sponsored projects, increased by 19 and 16 respectively.

Despite the increase in total crane numbers, multi-storey residential developments recorded their fourth consecutive drop in the index, mirroring the decline in building approvals and work done during 2020—down 2.1 per cent nationwide or $4.4 billion.

“While activity is down, indicators suggest we are in much better situation than what we had originally anticipated,” RLB Oceania director Domenic Schiafone said.

“Contractors have also reported they have been quite active from a tendering perspective and similarly, perhaps more so than anticipated.

“We are seeing some competitive tender results, which is great for developers, owners, et al, and will help in keeping projects viable.”

Crane counts by city

3Q20 count3Q20 (% of total)1Q21 count1Q21 (% of total)
Gold Coast345%294.2%
Central Coast50.7%91.3%

Brisbane recorded its biggest increase in crane numbers since late-2015.

The city’s residential construction outpaced other cities with an increase of 12 residential cranes accounting for more than half of its net gain of 21, which lifted its total to 71, the most in two-and-a-half years.

Residential cranes remain the largest sector in Brisbane, accounting for almost 50 per cent of the cranes, supported by strong interstate migration.

The city’s Queen’s Wharf casino development remains the project with the most number of cranes in Australia, nine.

Similarly, residential cranes on the Gold Coast now account for 93 per cent of all cranes, with the commercial sector the only other active crane.

New residential cranes include Luna Apartments and Natura at Burleigh Heads and Elan By Mosaic in Coolangatta.

Sydney’s retail sector erected its first crane since late 2018 with a crane at Bridge Street in Pymble while residential cranes fell below 200 for the first time since early 2016.

Crane counts by sector

3Q20 count3Q20 (% of total)1Q21 count1Q21 (% of total)
Mixed Use548%8011.6%

Despite this, the sector still accounts for more than two-thirds, 68.2 per cent, of the cranes in the city.

Six cranes were added to the $828-million Sydney Football Stadium redevelopment, the largest number of cranes on a single project in Sydney.

Melbourne recorded its first increase in total cranes in two years as decreasing numbers of cranes on residential CBD projects were replaced by growing numbers of mixed-use developments.

Melbourne’s total increased by a net 16 to 193 from the last count in the third quarter of last year.

Mixed-use cranes made the greatest single increase—by 15 to 39—and residential cranes fell by 12 to 81.

Cranes on civil projects such as Melbourne Metro Tunnel, West Gate Tunnel and the Level Crossing Removals, as well as education and health projects, increased.

Perth’s total fell by six cranes to 30, reflecting fewer on education and commercial projects.

There was no net change in the total of 15 residential cranes as 10 existing ones were dismantled and an equal number of new ones put up at projects including The Parade in Como, Little Lane and M/27 apartments in Fremantle, and One Subiaco.

Canberra dipped in total by one crane to 26, as the net loss of six residential cranes was largely offset by five new cranes on civic projects such as Canberra Airport’s 6 Brindabella Circuit business park.

Notable residential cranes added across the city include DKSN Stage 2 in Dickson, One City Hill, and the restart of ANU Student Accommodation in Acton.

Adelaide remained steady with 10 cranes, while Hobart and Darwin’s totals were also flat—with no cranes—for the second report in a row.



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Chelmer: Why locals won’t leave this riverside Brisbane suburb

Chelmer riverside

It’s a telling sign when families stay put in a certain place over multiple generations, where one’s childhood is made so complete, those who grow up there yearn to pass down this same upbringing to their own family.

This is certainly the case for Chelmer, a scenic suburb encased by the Brisbane River on three sides and known for its grand, quintessential Queenslander homes and laurel tree-lined streets.

According to Alex Jordan of McGrath Paddington, many locals in the area have been living in their homes for more than 40 years.

Often these homes are bought by the younger families who grew up in the area and are drawn back by the fond memories they hold.

“It’s very much a family-focused suburb; it’s the type of place where children still ride their bikes around the neighbourhood and families go for walks to simply admire the charming streets,” says Jordan.

Chelmer riverside

Median house prices in Chelmer have increased by 47.1 per cent year-on-year. Photo: Supplied

“The natural beauty, varied demographic, and desirable lifestyle are the key factors in Chelmer’s desirability, along with the great local schools and its own train station.”

Domain’s latest House Price Report reveals Chelmer’s median house price is $1.765 million, rising 47.1 per cent year-on-year.

In Jordan’s opinion, the suburb’s wonderful sense of community and growing amenities are what keep the buyers strong and unwavering.

“There are many restaurants and cafes to enjoy – such as Botellon Tapas & Wine Bar, Boucher French Bistro, Hunter & Scout Cafe – with most businesses being owned by locals who live in the area,” Jordan explains.

“The number of nice parks, including Graceville Memorial Park and ​​Gordon Thomson Park, leads many local families to become members of a variety of sporting clubs, ranging from cricket to rugby, which of course only adds to the area’s team spirit.”

Originally from country Victoria, Andrew Thomson has lived in Chelmer virtually all of his adult life, moving to the area 20 years ago, where he would buy a house and raise his family.

Having grown deep roots in the area since, Thomson is now the president of the local Australian rules football club – the Sherwood Magpies – a great hub for kids and adults alike, regardless of whether they play football.

“Chelmer’s strong sense of community is an integral part of this area, particularly during the devastation of the 2011 floods and the recent repeat of that on a lesser scale in 2022. When the clubhouse was threatened by rising floodwater, all it took was one quick post on social media and 100 people were there within 30 minutes ready to lend a hand,” recalls Thomson.

“It was amazing, though unsurprising to see, and it goes hand in hand with living in such a connected community and being part of a sporting club that sits at its heart.”

Given Chelmer’s abundance of green space and the clear separation thanks to the winding Brisbane River, Thomson notes how the area is akin to a peaceful peninsula, seemingly a world away from the city, but in reality, just a 10-minute drive from the Brisbane CBD.

“Ideal mornings may include a bike ride on the river loop or a stroll along the riverside, followed by a coffee stop at one of the many fantastic cafes,” says Thomson.

“Spring is particularly delightful, with great weather, the excitement of footy finals, and the smell of freshly cut lawns and suburban barbecues – it doesn’t get any better.”



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Developers to swoop on one of the largest sites in the Woolloongabba Olympic precinct

Developers to swoop on Woolloongabba Olympic precinct

A large development site in the heart of the Woolloongabba Olympic precinct is up for sale, with price expectations in excess of $45 million.

The 1.28-hectare rectangular shaped development site at 73 Ipswich Road in Woolloongabba is expected to attract apartment developers given its central location at the heart of the planned infrastructure in the precinct.

The site has three street frontages, to Ipswich Road and Henry Street and offers multiple development outcomes including residential, commercial, medical and hotel, subject to council approval.

Knight Frank agents Blake Goddard, Christian Sandstrom and Matt Barker in conjunction with Nathan Moore of Ray White Commercial Bayside on behalf of the vendor, a local private.

Goddard said the property was one of the largest privately owned infill sites within a two-kilometre radius of the Brisbane CBD and was expected to be hotly contested by buyers.

“We expect a wide range of developers to be interested in this site, including residential, commercial, mixed-use and build-to-rent developers, due to its flexible zoning allowances,” he said.

“It is one of the largest privately-owned properties situated in the heart of the Woolloongabba Olympic precinct, close to the Cross River Rail and the redevelopment of ‘the Gabba’ stadium, and one of the most significant development opportunities to have hit the market in the last few years.

“Quality development sites are sought after in the current market, but this site will be even more attractive to a wide range of buyers due to the rarity of size and location. The Gabba stadium and surrounding precinct is set to undergo major transformation in the coming years with over $1 billion allocated to the precinct.”

Moore said the property benefitted from its three-street frontage, easy access to major. arterial roads including Ipswich Road and the M1 Pacific Motorway, and the fact that a majority of it was undeveloped.

“The property is set to benefit from its prime location underpinned by exceptional future development opportunities in the area surrounding the 2032 Olympics,” he said.

The site is surrounded by nearby  amenity including The Gabba, the Logan Road dining precinct and the Cross River Rail station upon completion.

“The three-street frontage site enjoys a strategic location within Woolloongabba, offering unrivalled amenity along with extensive surrounding transport infrastructure and development,” he added.


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Residential Landscaping Ideas to Increase Your Brisbane Property Value

Residential Landscaping Ideas to Increase Your Property Value

One of the top trends in home renovations this year is to improve outdoor living – transforming spaces into inviting areas to maximise outdoor living and entertainment activities.  Residential landscaping, which can boost the value of a property in Australia, is one of those important transformations.

If done right, it can even increase the value of your real estate by up to 28%. From planting grass to creating a vegetable garden, there are several landscaping ideas that could make your backyard a delightful green oasis.

Residential Landscaping -Increase Your Brisbane Property Value

Well-Maintained Turf
A well-maintained landscape offers several benefits. It improves the curb appeal of a home and is pleasing to the eye.  In addition, it immediately increases the value of a home. Landscaping involves planting and maintaining grass on your lawn.  A manicured lawn is not only a sight for sore eyes, but it also enhances the overall appearance of a property.

However, before planting anything on your property, it is vital to prepare a coherent design and plan because a landscape that is assembled in piecemeal looks cluttered and unappealing. Hence, if you can afford to hire a professional landscape designer, do so because they can come up with a master plan that will make your yard look organized and beautiful.

It is also possible to do the landscaping yourself if you’re willing to do the extra work and effort. Even with a small budget, you can present a lovely landscape that looks well put together. Once you identify where to put your grass, ensure that it remains verdant and properly maintained.

Regular mowing, watering, weeding, and fertilisation are what it takes to keep your turf lush and green. Having the right type of grass also matters. For example, Buffalo and Couch are some types of grass that grow well in Australian conditions.

Trees and Shrubs
Second to a well-manicured lawn, potential buyers will also look at the maturity of a garden. Thus, plant trees and shrubs in strategic places, but before choosing the vegetation, ensure that you know which locations are sunny and shady in the garden. You can then choose the appropriate plants for those conditions. It’s also a good idea to opt for native plants.

They are easy to grow and are suitable for the challenging Australian climate. In addition, local plants support a healthy environment because you won’t need fertilisers and pesticides to keep them healthy, not to mention preserving biodiversity through a native garden.

Trees also make your home look fabulous in addition to providing shade, offering privacy, attracting bees, and creating shelter for birds. Consider planting a crepe myrtle, a hardy tree that gives stunning summer flowers and bright autumn foliage. It can be grown in the ground or pot.

Other species that will give a gorgeous vibe to your garden include the ornamental prunus, evergreen magnolias, frangipani, and blueberry ash. Don’t forget to make flower beds which can be a mixture of annuals and perennials to make your garden pop with colour.

Landscaping your property entails a concerted approach and effort to ensure a harmonious outcome. Maintaining a verdant lawn, planting trees and shrubs, and including flower beds are some ideas to improve the look of your outdoor space.

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