Non-residential building activity remains in the midst of a strong upswing. The value of work commenced rose strongly over the period 2015/16 to 2017/18, and the value of work done followed with solid increases over the last two years (2017/18 and 2018/19). There has been a slowing down in project starts in 2018/19, but we believe this is only transient. The most recent six months of approvals data (covering April to September 2019) shows substantial increases in approvals in Quarter 2 and Quarter 3 of 2019, compared with the same quarters of 2018. This is predictive of a rise in the value of project starts, and as shown in our forecasts, we expect a period of strong non-residential building in 2019/20.
Accordingly, most of the upturn is taking place in Sydney and Melbourne. Western Australia and Queensland should experience some delayed, and more modest, growth in work done through 2019/20 and 2020/21.