WA property sector holds its confidence, but survey highlights major concerns

WA’s property industry is growing increasingly hesitant about the state’s economic future and the challenges of balancing increased workflows with a severe shortage of skilled workers, according to the latest ANZ/Property Council survey.

Despite strong performance throughout 2021, the property sectors expectations for economic growth, forward work schedules, staffing levels, and State Government performance all declined in the December Quarter of the industry survey. Overall confidence improved slightly.

Property Council WA Executive Director, Sandra Brewer, says many businesses are swinging in sentiment between optimism and pessimism as they seek to balance strong demand against staffing challenges and price escalations.

“Concerning skills shortages are causing real anxiety in the market, with businesses unable to plan growth or forward workflows with any confidence,” Ms Brewer said.

“While the State Government has shown an unwavering commitment to investment and job generation, there are signs that growth is slowing, with job demand unable to be met,” she said.

“The availability of skills and labour has been a critical concern for the property industry for most of 2021 and the problem has become even more acute in the past two to three months. Increasingly we are hearing of projects being at risk or placed on hold,” she said.

Research conducted by the Property Council WA earlier this year revealed moving West is an attractive idea for many people in other parts of Australia. A survey of 800 Victorian and NSW residents showed 10 per cent of respondents were very or extremely likely to consider moving to WA.

“Now is the time for Western Australia to be bold and assertive about growing migration. As a State, we have a long history of attracting high-quality expatriates to fill skills gaps,” Ms Brewer said.

“Never before has attracting talent to WA been so important, to ensure we continue on a positive economic path,” she added.

To access the full chartbook and to find out more about the ANZ/Property Council Survey and our Supporting Sponsor RCP: https://research.propertycouncil.com.au/research-and-data/anz-property-council-survey