It was great to participate in the BuiltWorlds Global Summit panel discussion about Australia’s insight into the current climate with Chris, Shelli and Matt and moderated by Mike from BulitWorlds.
Before the world was gripped by a pandemic, the construction sector was booming, and the accompanying technology (ConTech) was beginning to make waves. But then 2020 happened: a pandemic that has not only underscored the dependence of our global economy on conditions of health and safety, but prompted an abrupt emptying out of central business districts with huge implications for the construction sector. From today’s standpoint, it seems as though the world of buildings and work will never be the same again. What does that mean for how we think about construction, built environments and communities — particularly those business districts crowded with dominating and dense towers?
Here are some key takeaways:
- The property sector in Australia is worth approximately $203 billion (13% of GDP) and is the country’s biggest employer with 1.4 million people. Australia has had a love affair with property for decades and this has been spearheaded by nearly four decades of growth.
- The Covid-19 pandemic has led to our first recession since 1991. This downturn has affected different States & Territories to varying degrees. However, one dichotomy has occurred: #ConTech & #PropTech has emerged as a powerhouse and a key driver in creating new ways for a safe and seamless return to work. A particular focus has been placed upon the human centric element; health, safety and the people experience.
- Geo-political trends towards nationalism and closed borders may require a readjustment to supply chains and promote local manufacturing and innovative product development.
- The Australia PropTech market will reach $20 billion in 2020; with over 265 companies and counting (and many exciting #startups making worldwide impact). Unfortunately, data collection in this area is still lagging so we can expect the figure to grow in the coming years. The lifecycle of technology firms’ breakdown is dispersed with the build stage at 20%, the buy side at 16%, the manage and operate at 35%, the rental and leasing side amounting to 13% and finally the sell side at 16%.
Finally, Australia is ripe with innovative investment initiatives, exports, and collaborations – seeded by local VCs and Government. Progressive and scalable firms are trending to seek secondary rounds of funding in international regions – as the Australian secondary market is maturing. As with most technology firms, worth is placed on value and not on predetermined earning metrics (and rightly so considering all the mega upwards forces and trends accelerating the adoption of new technology in Property and Construction). This provides hope that the recent success of our firms will spearhead Australian investment into innovation.
A full article on trends in Construction, Property and ConTech will follow in the coming weeks – stay tuned!