Podcast | Intelligent Investment

Evaluating Australia's Construction Costs in 2023

27 Minute Listen

The image shows an aerial shot of colleagues standing on an outdoor construction site discussing building plans.

The construction industry has experienced significant challenges in recent years with the aftereffects still being felt across certain parts of the sector today. A common theme has come in the form of price escalations in everything from fundamental building materials to skilled labour costs.
CBRE’s 2023 Pacific Market Outlook report took the non-consensus view that construction costs could face deflationary pressure this year, so to investigate this notion further, Talking Property enlisted expert insights from Matt Bourne, the newly appointed CEO of construction company, Roberts Co, and Tiffany Emmett, Senior Economist at Turner & Townsend.   

Sitting down with CBRE’s Head of Pacific Research, Sameer Chopra, the trio delve into the industry’s most crucial talking points including what to expect this year, uncontrollable spikes and risks in the market, the current state of international supply chains and the specific areas of construction costs that are showing signs of stabilisation.   

They also touch on external influences on construction costs including the influx of migration forecasted for Australia and its overall effect on the local worker shortage. And with Brisbane’s surging project pipeline and the resultant demand for top tier subcontractors, the panel also provide commentary on the factors that could contribute to further pricing escalation in construction. 


Sameer Chopra

 Head of Research, Pacific & ESG, Asia Pacific, CBRE

Sameer is responsible for framing the real estate market outlook and developing economic and property sector forecasts. He is proud of the unique insights he brings to the market, which are cutting edge. It is critical to have conviction about what the future holds, and Sameer believes clients want to know what’s around the corner, not what’s happened. As investors that’s necessary to make informed decisions.

Matt Bourne

Chief Executive Officer, Roberts Co

Matt joined Roberts Co in 2023 as their new CEO. Since 2018, Matt successfully led the NSW/ACT building team at John Holland as General Manager. Matt’s tenure saw John Holland re-establish itself as a leading builder in NSW including the successful delivery of several major projects such as the recent Sydney Football Stadium Redevelopment (Allianz Stadium). Prior to John Holland, Matt enjoyed a 24-year career at AW Edwards Pty Limited, progressing from an undergraduate site cadet to an Associate Director. A relationship-driven leader, Matt is passionate about the future of construction specifically across diversity, wellness, technology and ensuring the growth of all those around him.

Tiffany Emmett 

Senior Economist,Turner & Townsend

Having worked in the construction industry for seven years, Tiffany has an in-depth understanding of how the industry works and brings a wealth of knowledge to her current role which revolves around forecasting construction cost trends in global construction markets. She closely tracks world and local economic developments and conducts economic research to determine the impact on project construction costs. Of particular importance is the impact that competing projects may have in a region.

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