Number of cranes goes sky-high

The construction boom is seeing an unprecedented number of cranes rise across New Zealand’s cities, according to research released today. The Q2 2017 RLB Crane Index revealed a record 132 cranes towering over New Zealand’s cities, with Auckland alone accounting for 72.


“In Auckland, in particular, strong economic growth driven by high inward migration and increasing tourist numbers, along with solid housing activity, manufacturing and consumer spending, has seen the rock star economy continuing to drive the construction industry, where demand is stretching the current supply,” said Chris Haines, Rider Levett Bucknall’s Auckland Director.

“Auckland continues to dominate New Zealand skies with 72 long-term cranes, 55 per cent of all cranes observed across the seven key centres,” Haines said. “The current index highlights a 13 per cent increase in the number of cranes within the Auckland region since the last count in Q4 2016. Twenty-three new cranes have been erected and 15 have been removed from projects that are nearing completion.” Construction work put in place increased by 20 per cent in the 2016 calendar year, making it the fifth consecutive year of growth.


  • Anne Gibson
  • NZ Herald

Auckland pips Christchurch

e2b0b50ef34483e3fa418ce128f8f5293f790d54_620x311New Zealand has 72 large fixed cranes up – 29 in Auckland, 23 in Christchurch, nine in Wellington, five in Queenstown, three in Tauranga, two in Hamilton and one in Dunedin.

Chris Haines, Rider Levett Bucknall Auckland director, said his company’s crane index showed how active the construction sector was because 43 new cranes went up in the past six months, mainly in Auckland and Christchurch.

Construction work nationally last year was up 42 per cent on 2012, Haines said.

Thirteen new Auckland cranes were put up since last year’s third quarter, including on Dominion Rd, Lynn Mall, and city office buildings at Wynyard and Victoria St West.

Further cranes were erected at the Auckland Theatre Company at Wynyard, Rothesay Bay apartments, Hobson St, Summit on Karangahape Rd, Albany’s Rose Gardens apartments and elsewhere, Haines said.

Residential projects represent 37 per cent of Auckland crane work, followed by civil projects at 22 per cent and commercial at 19 per cent.


  • Anne Gibson
  • NZ Herald
  • Photo: Greg Bowker

Crane’s a big positive!

BuildingcranesAucklandCBDatnight_620x311Construction cranes on Auckland’s skyline are one of the best indicators of confidence and activity in the commercial property market, says John Church, national director of commercial property, in Bayleys’ latest Greater Auckland portfolio publication.

A number of key factors are driving strong growth in Auckland with the buoyant commercial and industrial property market conditions seen in 2014 expected to continue in 2015, says Church,

“In this respect, it has been encouraging to see the increasing number of crane booms dotted around key commercial and industrial property locations in Auckland over the past year.”

He says the latest bi-annual Rider Levett Bucknall Crane Index, released in September last year, noted that 26 cranes were in action in Auckland – less than the 31 employed in the Christchurch rebuild, but well ahead of the next locations: Hamilton with seven; and Wellington with six.

“Many more cranes are expected to spring up around the region over the next three years as we experience one of the biggest sustained construction booms in many decades – led by Auckland,” Church says.

“While building activity is expected to peak in Christchurch this year, according to a National Construction Pipeline report, construction work in Auckland will keep climbing significantly until 2017. It will then flatten off a little but remain at very healthy levels at least until 2020.

“This is good news for the Auckland commercial property market as it will create new investment opportunities, attract investment capital and help sustain the strong level of activity that was a feature of the market last year,” Church says.

“Auckland is clearly where much of New Zealand’s business growth will be for the foreseeable future, and investors like to put their money into areas where there are strong growth prospects.”

He says this point was underlined late last year by an analysis of the geographical location of the 370 investors who purchased proportionate shares in New Zealand’s largest property syndication – one of the buildings in Spark’s head office complex in central Auckland.

Some 27 per cent of purchasers were based in Auckland, while 55 per cent came from other parts of the North Island, and 17 per cent from the South Island, with many located in rural areas.

“When it comes to commercial property investment, people invest with their heads, rather than their hearts and clearly, Auckland is where the commercial property action is,” Church says.

“In this respect, it is good to see that a significant amount of development action is happening in the heart of our city – the central business district. Most of the world’s great cities have a thriving CBD with a mix of business, residential, retail and leisure and entertainment activities, and the wide range of projects currently underway or planned in our CBD are a good reflection of that.”

Church says the severe shortage of prime CBD office space has been well publicised and is likely to be only partly relieved by the completion later this year of Manson TCLM’s speculative new office building in Victoria Street, which is likely to lease up quickly.

“It will then be quite a while before other CBD office buildings planned by the likes of Goodman and Precinct Properties will add further significant amounts of prime office space to the market.

“In the meantime, tenants will, by necessity, have to look for good quality alternatives in CBD B-grade space, in the City Fringe, Southern Corridor and on the North Shore. This will open up opportunities and the prospect of rental growth for landlords in these sectors.”

Church says the other supply bottleneck that is likely to become even more acute in Auckland this year is the shortage of affordable land zoned for industrial development.

“As a consequence, there will continue to be strong demand for what limited supply there is. It is encouraging that the plan change needed to facilitate Stevensons’ redevelopment of rural land in South Drury into a large scale business park, catering predominantly for industrial users, has been given the go ahead.

“From what we have seen, it’s likely to be a development of similar quality to Goodman’s Highbrook Park in East Tamaki, although twice the size, and it will take some of the pressure off industrial land supply in the medium term.”

Church says 2014 ended on a high note for Bayleys with 24 properties selling before, at, or shortly after the agency’s last Auckland portfolio auction for the year in December.

“Given that the economy is continuing to chug along nicely, interest rates are forecast to remain at historically low levels for longer, and commercial and industrial property demand in many sub-sectors is continuing to outstrip supply, we anticipate that the strong market conditions which prevailed in 2014 will continue this year.”


  • Colin Taylor
  • NZ Herald

Christchurch pips Auckland for cranes

SCCZEN_A_271113NZHGBCRANE3_620x310Major centres are sprouting a growing crane population, with 76 cranes now on big sites.

The Rider Levett Crane Index shows Christchurch is the country’s crane capital, with 31 of the giants, followed by Auckland with 26, Hamilton with seven, Wellington with six, four in Queenstown and one each in Dunedin and Tauranga.

Chris Haines, Auckland director of consultants Rider Levett Bucknall, said national crane numbers rose 7 per cent during the past six months.

“The Four Avenues area of Christchurch has recorded a 41 per cent increase in the number of cranes counted on its city skyline in the past six months. Twenty-one cranes have been removed or dismantled as projects or parts of larger projects near completion but 30 new cranes are now onsite, making Christchurch the NZ crane capital,” Haines said.

Cranes are on the sites of the Justice Precinct, Cashel Square, Awley development and many are in the reconstruction zone in Gloucester St, Cambridge Tce and Hereford St.

Work has also started at the Southern Cross Hospital and Christ’s College, according to Haines.

In Auckland, the crane population rose 4 per cent in the past six months, including at Metlifecare’s The Poynton between Takapuna and Milford and an additional crane on the University of Auckland’s science centre project on Symonds St. Cranes are on apartment blocks rising in Howe St, Ponsonby, Eden Tce, and Exmouth St.

Queenstown has seen a big increase in the number of cranes with three new ones erected, all for commercial projects – one in Shotover St and two in Frankton. A single crane had been erected at the Shotover Primary School, Haines said.

“Wellington has remained steady with six cranes, equal to the previous count. For the residential sector there has been a crane removed at each of Rugby St, Cable St and Clyde Quay and the continuation of Taranaki St, leaving just one crane for the residential sector.

“Civil maintain two cranes with the continuation of Buckle St tunnel and the commercial sector has one crane each for commencements at Wigan St, The Terrace and Waterloo Quay.”


  • Anne Gibson
  • NZ Herald
  • Photo: Greg Bowker
%d bloggers like this: