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Finger on the pulse: Metropolitan Melbourne Crane Count March 2017

Melbourne's construction sector and the local development industry at large is showing a high degree of resilience, as tower cranes continue to populate the skyline in healthy numbers.

Despite predictions and warnings of an easing in the apartment sector in particular, Urban Melbourne has this city's tower crane count currently at a strong 140, just short of the October 2015 figure of 144 and well above the July 2014 figure of 107. Although holding strong at 140, the figure is well short of this city's high benchmark of 161 achieved during March last year

This current instalment of the Urban Melbourne Crane Count also sees a number of firsts, with peripheral suburbs such as Mernda and Werribee South in the tower crane mix for the first time, as is Spanish tower crane manufacturer Saez who's units are beginning to appear across Melbourne.

By pooling varied resources and conducting a physical count, we believe the census to be accurate to within 1-2 units.

Saez have landed in Melbourne

Residential...and then the rest

Apartments projects are as always dominant in the census - all bar 21 of the 140 units around Melbourne are devoted to residential builds.

The vast majority of tower cranes are perched above low and medium density residential projects; although not in the limelight relative to their inner city, high-rise equivalents, these smaller projects continue to be the unheralded driver of Melbourne's development scene.

Purpose Number in use
High-density Residential 119
Commercial and Civic 10
Health and Research 5
Student Accommodation 4
Hotel accommodation 2

The bulge continues

A trend that continues to intensify is the outward spread of tower cranes into some of Melbourne's newer suburbs. 

As touched upon earlier, Wyndham Harbour at Werribee South is sporting its first tower crane, as is Mernda (although the latter is doing precious little currently). Add the likes of Werribee, Wantirna South, Narre Warren, Berwick and Patterson Lakes, and the spread of tower cranes points to the intensification of development in many of Melbourne's outlying suburbs.

In terms of the middle/outer suburb with the highest tower crane count, there's no surprise that Box Hill takes that honour with 6 in use, and with more to follow.

Werribee South, Berwick and Ringwood are part of the outer suburban spread

Future intent

Caydon's Mason Square project on the former Moonee Ponds Market site looms as the single largest project by tower cranes employed. With three currently onsite, a further two will be installed according to provider MCG Cranes in order to deliver the project that will yield Caydon in excess of 1,000 apartments.

Melbourne's commercial construction scene is also due for a boost following a quiet period of construction activity. Projects such as ANZ's 839 Collins Street, Collins Arch and 477 Collins Street are all at early construction whilst 80 Collins Street may well be sporting tower cranes by the next census, as onsite works are progressing on the long delayed project.

Brunswick flanked by Brunswick East and West shape as a forthcoming suburban hot spot for tower cranes, with a healthy number of projects poised to begin construction, or well into their sales campaign.

2 of 5 tower cranes for Caydon's latest build

3 comments

Andrew's picture

Crane went up at Vanguard in Malvern/Caulfield on the weekend, noticed a crane out in Clayton too, the new townhouses on the Cnr of Huntingdale & Centre Road.

Also a massive blue crane at Murrumbeena station :p

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Bilby's picture

Mark, are you able to put up a graph of crane counts using data from the past few years?

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Mark Baljak's picture

If time permits, yes I will

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