Sydney Market Update – Spring 2015
Things have certainly remained busy in the Sydney office since the last market update and this is still being driven by the residential market. The client confidence levels remain high and our discussions with clients over the last few weeks have provided us with feeling that clients are feeling positive about 2016.
There is an underlying feeling that the residential work will at some stage start to slow down but at this time, companies remain positive about the demand for stock in NSW. The other area that is likely to be very busy in 2016 is the transport and infrastructure markets. A report carried out by the Australian Constructors Association of the lobby groups, predicts that 2016-17 will be the best year for construction in four years and that many construction companies are expecting an average 4.7 percent growth in the coming year.
Sydney recruitment market remains very permanent driven, the majority of the companies we are speaking to are very focused on the long term suggesting a confidence in the workflow. The shortage of available candidates with the right skills and experience also contributes to the number of permanent roles that are offered. Clients are more likely to ‘roll the dice’ in this current market if the right candidate happens to come along and offer them a permanent position.
The Architectural market has remained strong over the last 6 months and even with some talk of a slowing down of the residential market, NSW is still being buoyed by a strong pipeline of apartment developments.
The reason for all this confidence in the market appears to be the ongoing influx of money from Asia into the property market, the continual hold on interest rates and a general sense that the global and local financial markets are strong despite recent wobbles.
One indicator of the how the construction market is going is the latest RLB Crane Index which shows that the number of cranes deployed on residential buildings rose in every mainland capital except Darwin, as the total number of fixed cranes on sites rose from 426 six months ago to the 529, across the country. Almost 80 per cent of Australia’s cranes are now engaged in building new homes, the highest proportion ever recorded to date by the half-yearly index.
Demand in Sydney within Architecture remains for good all-round, mid-level Architects. Candidates at the 4-7 year level are in particularly sought after as companies look to build strong teams and have employees that can grow over time with investment from within. Also firms are very keen to find good Project Architects with the ability to run their own projects and take up some of the pressure off existing staff. Therefore candidates with 10-15 years experience that are looking for a challenging role and have strong technical and co-ordination skills are in high demand.
Though the residential market is driving things, the focus of work in the last couple of months has seemed to be a lot more widespread in regards to project types with educational, aged care, health care, commercial and retail all coming to the fore in Architecture.
Revit software skills demand remains strong, whilst the pool of skilled Revit candidates is starting to increase, the demand for those with strong experience (minimum 2-3 years) in Revit and is still very, very high. Demand for such skills remains at a point where it is outstripping the available high quality applicants. As a result we have started to place more and more candidates that have not necessarily worked in Australia before but have very strong Revit skills. These candidates have needed to be available immediately, have a valid working Visa (not Student Visa) and be open to contract roles.
Sydney Interior Design market remains very busy and has provided us with plenty of exciting roles. One area, in particular that is really driving things at the moment is the retail and corporate fit-out markets, where we have been working on a number of senior positions with large high profile practices.
Opportunities are also coming through thick and fast for candidates at mid-level who can work from concept design and help run projects to completion. The focus from clients is trying to find candidates that can bring new ideas to the table and show true design talent.
The residential interiors market is the one that has increased most in the last 6 months, we have seen that work from the same Architecture market has flowed through to Interiors and has created a number of new positions. We have certainly seen an increase in the number of Interior Design roles being offered by Architectural firms wanting to see a strong portfolio of apartment projects.
Within the Interiors market, the sentiment from our client is very positive at the moment, many firms have a strong pipeline of work with a number of companies going so far as to say that they are having to turn work down!
Partner – BT&P Sydney