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ACT PROPERTY INDUSTRY CONFIDENCE DIPS BUT KEY MEASURES HOLD UP

Property industry sentiment has taken a dip in the latest ANZ/Property Council survey although the key measures which drive the industry’s economic contribution to the ACT are holding up.

The overall confidence index fell from 144 index points in the previous quarter to 127 index points for the March 2020 quarter. The survey was conducted between 18 November and 6 December 2019 which covered the period when the ACT Government pushed through new building industry regulations despite industry’s significant concerns about their effectiveness and impact.

Industry confidence in the ACT remains four points ahead of the national confidence rating which rose by five index points for the March 2020 quarter reflecting renewed optimism about residential values and construction levels particularly in NSW and Victoria.  Residential capital growth expectations moderated slightly in the ACT but remain positive.

The Property Council’s ACT Executive Director, Adina Cirson, said the survey results highlighted the importance of good planning and policy in underpinning industry confidence.

“Our economic fundamentals are generally good which is reflected in the positive scores on some of the key measures which determine the health of the industry, including expectations around forward work and staffing levels.

“These measures also support the ongoing significant contribution our industry makes to jobs, economic growth and the quality of life in the ACT.

“But for this to continue, we need good policy and for government to work more closely with the industry on issues of mutual concern rather than the heavy-handed approach it took to the introduction of building regulations last November,” Ms Cirson said.

Survey respondents were positive about the prospects for growth in capital values in the office, industrial, hotels and retirement living sectors, and similar to other markets around Australia were negative about the outlook for retail capital values.

Expectations around national economic growth were negative on balance although in positive territory when it came to the ACT’s economic outlook. Most ACT respondents continued to expect improvements in access to debt finance and also foreshadowed another cut to official interest rates although less emphatically than in previous quarters.

ACT respondents were positive about the Federal Government’s performance for the second consecutive quarter, although sentiment about the ACT Government’s performance dropped by 20 points into the negative range for the first time over the past year.

For state and territory governments around Australia,  property taxes and charges were the top priority for 21 per cent of respondents, followed by housing supply and affordability (20 per cent), development around transport nodes (20 per cent), and planning and regulation reform (19 per cent).

The online survey of 953 respondents nationally was conducted between 18 November and 6 December 2019 and measures forward-looking expectations.

Media contact: Adina Cirson m 0429 579 972 e acirson@propertycouncil.com.au

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