9-11 May 2023
ICC Sydney


Birth, starting school, working, ageing. Our community needs its built environment to support them through many stages of life. Australian Construction Industry Forum’s (ACIF) latest Demand Driven Forecasts look at: What will our population look like to 2050? What will the community needs be in the years to 2020? Do we have the facilities they need, or have we planned for it – if not, where is and how big is the gap?

ACIF’s new forecasts that show serious shortfalls or oversupply are expected for key building assets in communities around Australia, expressed in real-life measures including classrooms, hospital beds, office, retail and industrial space plus housing.


ACIF’s Demand Driven Forecasts 2014 start with population changes expected in 21 locales around Australia, determine the future needs of these communities, compared to the current and planned supply of each asset type.

Some regions will have be struggling to meet the needs of the community, yet other regions will see an oversupply of assets as the projected population will have a reduced need for some building types.

“Effective urban planning will only happen with sound information on asset supply and demand,” said Peter Barda, Executive Director of the Australian Construction Industry Forum, publisher of the Demand Driven Forecasts.

“Peering into the looking glass of the population we expect in 21 regions, we can see how their needs are set to change. Authorities have the chance now to plan for construction or re-use of community and other assets.”

Sydney continues to grow, and the strain will be felt in short supply of four key areas, while space is needed for retail and offices will be in excess. It’s almost the reverse in Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, while Wollongong will enjoy oversupply of all forecast asset types except classrooms towards 2020.

For Victoria, the contrast between capital city and regions will be keenly felt. Melbourne is set for significant increase in the number of people 15-64 years, and stress on classrooms and hospital beds result. However due to the past years of burgeoning home building, there will be excess supply of housing.

Ballarat by contrast, will have demand for attached dwellings and houses; an early oversupply of classrooms and almost balanced demand for offices and industrial space.

Geelong will experience almost no demand for work, with all but two work types experiencing oversupply, and when there is demand it is low-range.

Significant population change for Brisbane sees big demand on hospital beds, classrooms, and detached housing while attached housing is balanced before oversupply later. Cairns will see demand on most work types except for hospital beds and retail later in the forecast period. Gold Coast/Tweed growth continues and so does demand with retail being the first work type to reach and exceed demand, then housing. Work demand in Mackay continues with the exception of new attached dwellings, so too in Rockhampton.

However Sunshine Coast will enjoy oversupply in four of seven work types included in the forecasts, where demand in classrooms, houses and industrial space will keep the local industry busy. Toowoomba will be in major need of hospital beds, office and industrial space plus houses, while classrooms and retail, plus attached dwellings will be in oversupply. Townsville communities will be calling for more building types except hospital beds and retail. www.acif.com.au Page 2

Mr Barda was keen for readers of the Demand Driven Forecasts to understand the nature of the forecasts, however. “These Forecasts rely upon the published building and construction plans of governments. In some cases the Demand Driven Forecasts highlight where plans have not been released – or possibly made – and the potential gaps if action isn’t taken.”

 sample of demand supply chart in ACIFs demand driven forecase

Sample of Demand-Supply chart in ACIFs Demand Driven Forecasts

The Demand Drive Forecasts include charts for population projections to 2050, and the forecasts supply and demand for seven asset types to 2020. Matching the projected demand and supply for each asset is a ‘traffic light’ chart, highlighting the gaps.

The Demand Driven Forecasts use source data from government reports plus major project information from Cordell Information. Expert forecasters ACIL Allen Consulting analyse the data to produce the Demand Driven Forecasts for ACIF.

The Demand Driven Forecasts are part of the ACIF Forecasts, a suite of industry forecasts that provide the building and construction industry and its clients with a ‘compass’ to the future, so they plan to survive and thrive changing market conditions. ACIF Forecasts include a ten year outlook for work demand, labour requirements, major projects and the costs of building and construction.

Sample of Traffic Light chart used to highlight demand and supply contrasts in ACIF's Demand Driven Forecasts

Sample of Traffic Light chart used to highlight demand and supply contrasts in ACIF’s Demand Driven Forecasts

About ACIF

Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) is the peak body and meeting place of the leaders of the construction industry in Australia. ACIF facilitates and supports an active dialogue between the key players in residential and non-residential building, and engineering construction, other industry groups, and government agencies.

ACIF Members are the most significant Associations in the industry, spanning the entire asset creation process from feasibility through design, cost planning, construction and building and management. ACIF harnesses the resources of its Members to research and develop initiatives that benefit businesses of all sizes, from the largest of construction companies to small consultancies.
Information about ACIF is available from www.acif.com.au .

About ACIF Forecasts

ACIF Forecasts are rolling ten year forecasts of demand across residential, non residential and engineering construction in Australia. The Forecasts are prepared by respected economic modellers and overseen by ACIF’s Construction Forecasting Council, an industry panel of expert analysts and researchers.

ACIF Forecasts are used by thousands of professionals each year, from across the full range of stakeholders, from major organisations to small consultancies. This invaluable work is only possible with the support of our partners, including Principal Partner CBUS, as well as Australian Institute of Architects, Cordell Information, 米6米乐体育, Engineers Australia, Property Council of Australia and Viewpoint Construction Software. More information about ACIF is available from www.acif.com.au/forecasts .

Purchase the full report here .

More information and resources for media are available at www.acif.com.au/news/media .

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