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ACT property sector confidence lifts but uncertainty still looms

The latest ANZ/Property Council Survey has shown ACT property industry confidence has lifted in the December 2020 quarter. However, there is still uncertainty as to how the COVID-19 induced recession will continue to impact the property industry in early 2021, particularly in the office, retail and hotel markets.

Overall property industry confidence has increased by a very promising 44 index points from 81 to 125. A score of 100 is considered neutral. The national confidence index increased from 82 to 123 points in the December 2020 quarter.

“Our members across the Territory believe there is still a bit of a “wait and see approach". Members are looking towards government schemes like JobKeeper, which are slated to end in March 2020, as they wait to see if further impacts of the crisis are yet to be felt,” said Adina Cirson, the Property Council’s ACT Executive Director.

“However, we did record the highest expectations in the nation in terms of forward work schedules and willingness to employ more staff has lifted back into positive territory over the quarter. Access to debt expectations have lifted, as has Territory economic growth, slightly improving from last quarter.

“However, 58 percent of survey respondents in the ACT expect conditions will not improve or will get worse in the next three months – this is unchanged since the last quarter. Only 42 per cent of respondents expected things to improve, compared to the national average of 70 per cent.

“Unfortunately, it seems that uncertainty will continue well into the new year, until we start to see in more positive sentiment for the office, retail and hotel markets, although positive lifts in the housing, industrial and retirement living have buoyed the sector,” Ms Cirson said.

Expectations were buoyed by the positive impact that the sector is seeing through the roll out of the HomeBuilder grant, with nearly 80% of developers operating in the residential sector believing that it is positively impacting their businesses, and why it is pleasing to see that extended and a widening of the construction commencement window to 6 months.

Property taxes and charges, planning and regulation and housing affordability are identified, across the country, as the most critical issues for state governments to address, and now the ACT Election is behind us, the sector is looking for real action by the ACT Government on these fronts. The Property Council of Australia has been so pleased to see the release of the Planning Review and Reform discussion papers, and we have been engaged by ACT Treasury on what stimulus measures are still required ahead of the February Budget.

“Our industry is a vital took required to come out of this crisis on the other side quickly. The role we can play in job creation, should not be underestimated. Ensuring we have a solid pipeline of construction projects and that projects are getting approvals within statutory timeframes remains critical, and we will continue to advocate for these issues on behalf of our members in the new year,” Ms Cirson concluded.

 

ANZ/Property Council Survey – December 2020 quarterly results – Australian Capital Territory 

Index

Overall Context

Quarterly Result

Quarterly Change

Comment

Confidence Index

POSITIVE

UP

81 to 125

Increase of 44
index points – third highest confidence in the country

State Economic Growth

POSITIVE

UP

-15.8 to 19.9

Sentiment has returned to positive territory

State Govt Performance

POSITIVE

UP

-19.0 to 9.1

Sentiment has returned to positive territory

Forward Work Schedules

POSITIVE

UP

-7.6 to 45.7

Highest sentiment across the nation

Staffing Levels

POSITIVE

UP

-2.6 to 7.5

Sentiment has returned to positive territory

House Capital Growth

POSITIVE

UP

7.0 to 41.7

Highest sentiment on record

Office Capital Growth

NEGATIVE

UP

-45.5 to -13.9

Highest sentiment across the nation

Retail Capital Growth

NEGATIVE

UP

-54.7 to -11.1

Highest sentiment across the nation

Industrial Capital Growth

POSITIVE

UP

0.0 to 4.6

Despite an increase in sentiment, ACT remains the least positive in the nation

Hotel Capital Growth

NEGATIVE

UP

-66.3 to -2.8

Highest sentiment across the nation

Retirement Living

POSITIVE

UP

-3.3 to 6.5

Sentiment has returned to positive territory

 

To view select ANZ/Property Council Survey historical data series in the Property Council’s Data Room, click here. 

 

To find out more about the ANZ/Property Council Survey and our Supporting Sponsor RCP, click here. 

 

Media contact:  Adina Cirson |M 0429 579 972 |E acirson@propertycouncil.com.au