The number of development applications has risen in January 2018 with apartment and unit projects accounting for a major share.

Compared with December figures, new projects added to the pipeline in January have increased by 31 percent; however, the January numbers are slightly lower than the five-year average of 1,789 new project applications per month across Australia.

According to the latest CoreLogic Cordell Construction Monthly report, 1,719 new development applications and proposals were added to the construction pipeline across Australia in January.

CoreLogic commercial research analyst Eliza Owen attributes the dip to seasonal factors and comments that the number of new project applications is accelerating as the country comes out of the holiday period. Interestingly, apartment and unit projects make up a large portion of new proposals.

Of the AU$17.9 billion in work proposed over the last 12 months, residential projects accounted for 21 percent; in January, this share rose to 32 percent of new projects – mostly in capital cites as well as along the east coast. The focus on affordable housing in residential development is also bearing results with the revival of the Kamira Court Project in Western Sydney after the initial development proposal in 2011.

Key findings of the CoreLogic Cordell Construction Monthly January 2018 report indicate that the combined value of projects captured in the pipeline over January (AU$18 billion) was above the 5-year average of AU$13.6 billion, and substantially higher than the AU$6.5 billion recorded in December.

But the number of projects moving into construction in January was 640, far lower than the five-year average of 1,023 projects per month. Ms Owen attributes this massive drop to seasonal factors, as CoreLogic project data indicates the average commencements for January over the last five years totalled to 805 projects. The value of projects moving into construction was also slightly lower on December’s AU$4.3 billion in commencements, at AU$4.2 billion.

Owen adds that construction activity is estimated to rise in 2018, given the steady increases in project commencements recorded in the pipeline.