RLB Crane Index® reflects construction boom

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  • RLB Crane Index® reflects construction boom
About this article
Carly McIver​​​​


Carly McIver​​​​


Crane Index , Market Research
Market Insights

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Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) has seen Sydney’s construction boom explode with 220 cranes, a record since the launch of their index in August 2012.

The Q4 2015 RLB Crane Index® highlights the continued strength of the residential sector across Australia, supported by a low interest rate environment, demand for inner-city living, and strong investment sales.

Index highlights positive sentiment

Now a registered trademark, and in its 7th edition, the biannual RLB Crane Index® was created by the firm as a good, simple indication of building activity, and the general health of our construction markets

According to the index, 301 new tower cranes were erected across Australia’s skylines in the past six months, proving the construction industry is still undergoing significant growth. This count was offset by the removal of 188 cranes from sites around Australia, which are nearing completion.

Housing fills city skyline with cranes

Almost 80% of Australia’s cranes are engaged in building homes, the highest proportion ever recorded by the RLB Crane Index®.

Sydney Director Stephen Ballesty said, ‘The Q4 2015 RLB Crane Index® has identified a total of 539 cranes currently erected across Australia’s capital cities, a 26.5% increase since Q2 2015.’

According to Mr Ballesty, research shows 79.2% of all cranes erected across the country are on residential projects, while only 8.7% are on commercial projects. He said that 65% of residential cranes are located in Sydney and Melbourne. And that cranes on the east coast of Australia amount to 89.4% of all cranes sighted in Australia.

‘The concentration of residential cranes within key cities identified within the RLB Crane Index® is a testament to the inner city housing challenges facing our key cities,’ he added.

Cranes in use

  • Adelaide 7
  • Brisbane 104
  • Canberra 6
  • Darwin 3
  • Gold Coast 16
  • Melbourne 136
  • Perth 47
  • Sydney 220

About the RLB Crane Index®

The RLB Crane Index® is published biannually in Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, North America and Southern Africa. The index tracks the number of fixed cranes in major cities across these markets and provides a good indication of the current state of the construction industry’s workload.


Carly McIver​​​​
Carly McIver​​​​

Head of Marketing & Communications