Cranes continue to dot Australian skylines despite the anticipated slowdown in residential construction, the latest data shows.

Unveiling the results of its latest ‘crane count’ quantity surveying and project management advisory outfit Rider Levett Bucknall said the number of cranes dotting the skylines of CBD markets in Australia increased from 654 in the second quarter of this year to 685 in its most recent count.

The result is the highest since the Group began its count in 2012.

Since the second quarter of 2015, the number of cranes has risen by 61 percent as residential cranes have increased by 77 percent and the number of non-residential cranes is up 11 percent.

Most of the activity is centred around Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Sydney added 16 cranes to take its total to 350 whilst Melbourne (151) added five and Brisbane (85) added four.

By sector, hotels and civil (e.g. train stations) were most active.


The hotel sector doubled its crane count from 11 to 22 whilst civil added six cranes to go from seven to thirteen.

The results come despite expectations of a slowdown in building activity as the multi-residential sector boom comes off its peak.

Possibly, the discrepancy between these reports and the strong crane count now may reflect the fact that the expectations are based around leading indicators such as building approvals or construction starts.

By contrast, the crane count reflects conditions on the ground as they are.

Rider Levett Bucknall Director of Research & Development Stephen Ballesty said the result show the continued strength of the Australian construction sector.