Home renovations and public sector works are boosting the construction industry.
The value of work dropped in the September quarter by 2.6 per cent, with building work dropping 2 per cent and engineering work down 3.3 per cent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Compared with the same time last year, building work is 7.2 per cent lower while engineering is 0.1 per cent higher.
Commsec senior economist Ryan Felsman said there’s been an increase in renovation works.
“The value of home renovations construction work rose by 5.1 per cent in the September quarter – the most in 2.5 years – with Aussies taking the opportunity to upgrade their homes during the pandemic,” Mr Felsman said.
“And public construction work done lifted by 3.2 per cent in the quarter as governments accelerated shovel-ready projects, driven by non-residential (up 3 per cent) and residential (up 16.2 per cent) construction.”
ANZ senior economist Catherine Birch said the decrease in residential work was smaller than was expected.
“Nationally, there was a marked contrast between the private and public sectors, with a 4.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter drop in private work done partially offset by a 3.2 per cent rise in public work done.”
“Public sector housing activity has picked up by more than a quarter since the first quarter, albeit following a two-year period of decline.”
A federal government program offering cash grants for housing construction projects has been extended, but at a lower amount.
The HomeBuilder scheme currently provides $25,000 grants to eligible people building a new home or renovating an existing one.
It had been due to expire at the end of the year but will be extended to 31 March 2021 at the lower rate of $15,000.