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2017 begins with the highest confidence levels in two years

2017 begins with a two-year high in confidence across the property industry according to the latest quarterly ANZ Property Council Survey.

The sentiment survey of more than 1,500 industry professionals – the largest of its kind – found a further increase in confidence over the quarter, rising 2 points to 132 for the March 2017 quarter.  A score of 100 is considered neutral.

“This is good news to start 2017. This data says that the industry is optimistic about the coming quarter. We see good expectations in terms of economic growth, capital values and forward work schedules”, said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia.

“Naturally there are state by state variations, but taken together this is good news during a somewhat uncertain time.

“We see in NSW a strong surge in confidence underpinned by expectations for economic growth, housing, forward work expectations as well as confidence in the government itself.

“Likewise, we are seeing consistent and strong growth expectations in Victoria and the ACT.  We are also seeing a pickup in confidence in South Australia and Queensland. Western Australia is still coming to terms with the end of the mining moon, and confidence did slip back into negative territory.

“Given the trifecta of deficits, ratings agency reviews and negative growth data from the ABS, it is vital that industries that are growing be encouraged to flourish. This is the easiest and least costly way to facilitate sustainable growth, quickly.

“Tackling our byzantine planning systems, cutting unnecessary delays costs Federal and State budgets nothing. But they will spur investment, jobs and growth during a time when it is vital that the economy is sustained by private sector growth.

Mr Morrison said that despite expectations of tighter finance and higher interest rates in 2017, the industry was showing increasing confidence regarding economic growth, forward work expectations, residential and office market capital growth.

“Outside of NSW and the ACT, we see industry concerns about the state government performance in terms of planning and managing growth. While there was an improvement in perceptions of the Federal Government’s performance, it is still in negative territory.

Richard Yetsenga, ANZ Chief Economist said that the March quarter survey showed that firms are considerably more optimistic around the outlook for the property sector.

“Much of the improved outlook for the property market came from the residential segment, supported by improved expectations of capital price growth, forward work schedules and construction activity.  Coupled with the returning presence of investors, it appears that demand for housing is reasonably steady at an elevated level.

“Sentiment in the commercial property segment is still stronger than in residential property. Net confidence in the commercial offices segment has been steadily rising for two years now, reflecting an improving outlook for price growth and construction activity. The result is in line with ongoing absorption of office space, as white-collar employment continues to rise across the major capital markets.”

To find out more about the ANZ/Property Council Survey and our Supporting Sponsor RCP, visit www.propertycouncil.com.au/confidence

Media contact:  Paul Ritchie| E pritchie@propertycouncil.com.au