Market Forecast 2024


Planned Resources recruit across the niche markets of planning, engineering, architecture and design, property, and government support. We operate​ across private and public sectors in Melbourne, Victoria, and Australia. 

The global economy is currently experiencing a period of sluggish growth, set to be the slowest in three decades, as reported by the World Bank. In our region, the construction industry faces continued challenges amid the global economic recovery from the pandemic. Factors such as persistent inflation, high interest rates, geopolitical tensions, and extreme weather events contribute to the subdued activity and growth.

The World Bank projects a decline in global growth for the third consecutive year, with estimates dropping from 2.6% in 2023 to 2.4% in 2024, nearly three-quarters of a percentage point below the 2010s average. While the International Monetary Fund acknowledges the remarkable resilience of the global economy, it highlights emerging risks such as persistent inflation, rising commodity prices, and China’s real estate crisis, all of which directly affect the construction industry.

Furthermore, global events like the conflict in Ukraine and the transition to net zero emissions exert additional pressure on energy prices. However, population growth remains a driving force behind the demand for various construction projects, including housing, public transport, and social infrastructure.

Amid short-term economic strains, the looming challenge of climate change presents long-term implications. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2024 underscores environmental risks, including extreme weather, biodiversity loss, and pollution, which could reach irreversible levels if not addressed promptly.

Estimates suggest the transition to a net-zero economy could cost approximately $3.5 trillion annually until 2050, yet it also presents opportunities. The World Economic Forum anticipates the creation of over 30 million jobs in the global construction sector by 2030, doubling in size from 2020 to 2030 due to increased demand for renewable infrastructure.

In Australia, despite modest economic growth projections of 1.75% for 2024, challenges persist. Household disposable income experienced significant declines in 2023, with mortgage interest debt reaching unprecedented levels.  Inflation, although easing, and the impact of significant rises in interest rates being the main cause of that decline.  Whilst inflation remains above the Reserve Bank’s target range, and with it the lingering risk that there may still be further interest rate increases required, at this stage a consensus is starting to form that the next interest rate move is more likely to be down rather than up.

Within the construction sector, residential housing approvals declined, with Master Builders Australia forecasting that only 170,000 new homes will be built in 2023-24, well below the 240,000 needed to meet the target set out in the National Housing Accord.

Non-residential building activity is also expected to be sluggish.  This is especially true with regards to publicly funded projects where both State and Federal governments sought to constrain investment due to perceived overspends during the Covid years.  Infrastructure was hit quite badly with 50 projects, worth $7 billion, losing federal funding in strategic infrastructure review.

Despite all of these negatives, the Australian economy possesses strong fundamentals.  Population growth will remain high, with over 300,000 new migrants expected in 2023-24, and this growth will drive demand for housing, workplaces, schools, hospitals, and supporting infrastructure.  A December 2023 survey conducted by the Property Council of Australia reported that each state and territory had positive forward work estimates, and that confidence broadly across the industry remained high.

Project Sector Forecasts

Privately Funded Projects

  • Housing – Individual and Multi-Res will rebound due to population growth.  With dwelling construction well behind the level needed to account for population growth, the rebound will be strong.  Lingering doubts caused by high interest rates and high construction costs likely mean that improvement will occur from the middle of 2024.
  • Commercial / Industrial. C&I has been an over performing part of the market for 10+ years.  Expectations are that this sector will continue to this growth as post-Covid decentralisation drives activity in suburban areas and business parks.
  • Retail has been a difficult market for 15-20 years due to the rise in online shopping.  It has seen somewhat of a rebound due to the addition of residential units to shopping centres and the subsequent creation of activity and lifestyle precincts around those centres.  This should continue, albeit in a sector that still possesses significant headwinds.
  • Renewable Energy. Expected to be one of the larger parts of the construction market, particularly on the eastern seaboard.  Growth likely to be both for renewable energy projects, and battery storage facilities.

Publicly Funded Projects

  • Infrastructure – Roads and Rail. Still long term growth opportunities due to strong population growth and urban expansion requiring extra services to these newly formed suburbs.  The next 12 months looks somewhat challenging however due to decreased government funding as mentioned above.
  • Social Infrastructure is an area that also needs significant long term investment.  Despite recent tight fistedness from state and federal governments in 2023 budgets, and the likelihood that 2024 budgets will be similarly measly, the expectation is that there will be a significant rebound in 2025 as we move back into an election cycle.


Leigh Monro, Associate Director

Leigh is our Design Recruitment Consultant and Associate Director. He is a specialist in Architecture, Interiors, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture. He is a true expert in the field and has been recruiting in this space since 1997.

Connect with Leigh on LinkedIn

Contact: 0451 674 977,


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