Following on from what CoreLogic commercial research analyst Eliza Owen describes as "a relatively subdued quarter of activity in Q1 2018", the number of projects moving into construction surged over April.

While in March, there were just 597 projects that moved into construction, April figures increased 83% to 1090 project commencements.

The strongest proportional increase was in the community build segment (comprised of schools, hospitals and other public service buildings). Commencements in this space increased 127% on the previous month, from 113 community starts in March to 256 starts in April. 

The combined value of these commenced projects was $7.2 billion. This is 46% higher than the value of projects moving into construction in the previous month. Aside from the month on month trend, the year to April has seen a 35% increase in the value of works commencing. 

New development applications collected over April also increased by volume. The combined value of work proposed saw 7% growth on the previous month. The total number of new projects collected over April was 1827. The combined value of these projects was $14.6 billion, up 14% on the previous month.

"Interestingly, the new project space diverted from the trend in development application movements observed in the last 12 months, whereas the year to March was characterised by steady increases in the civil engineering space," Owen said. 

"April data on new projects suggested a 28% decline on civil engineering projects on the previous month.

"While month-to-month is too volatile to derive trends in construction, the April quarter data has seen the number of new civil engineering projects at 1576, which is 1% lower than in the previous quarter."