Confidence hard to gauge following blackout

The peak body for the state’s biggest industry has revealed that confidence levels in South Australia’s property sector have gone backwards in the December quarter.

The ANZ/Property Council Survey is the leading business sentiment index and for the December quarter is based on sentiment and feedback from 1,815 property professionals across all jurisdictions. 

It must be noted that this data was collected between 12th and 26th September, before the statewide blackout on 28 September. 

“The December 2016 quarter results demonstrate the importance of maintaining a barefaced focus on restructuring policy settings around tax, planning, defence, nuclear and local government,” said SA Executive Director Daniel Gannon. 

Mr Gannon said the latest survey reveals a confidence level of 128 on the index and shows a -5 point quarterly shift offset by a +10 point shift in sentiment in the 12 months to December 2016.

“South Australia and Queensland (-1 confidence level) were the only two surveyed jurisdictions to record a drop this quarter,” he said.

South Australia now trails ACT (142, up from 133), NSW (142, up from 139) and Victoria (139, up from 137) based on the December quarter results.

However, Mr Gannon said last month’s statewide blackout took place after data collection had concluded. 

“It’s just too early to gauge the statewide blackout impact on confidence levels in South Australia.

“While our personal resilience was tested and we should praise the work of our first responders, there is a serious question that we need to ask ourselves: was this systemic failure in infrastructure avoidable? 

“That’s not to say there weren’t costs. Boom gates failed at parking stations, food went off in fridges that failed, restaurant staff were sent home, service stations couldn't fill-up empty tanks, police officers were redirected to staffing major intersections, and productivity left as buildings vacated. 

“Not only that, South Australia became the butt of national jokes – jokes that all inferred we weren’t operating as a first class 21st Century state. When a state becomes the punchline, confidence inevitably takes a hit. 

“This is an issue about reliability, credibility and confidence. It’s not about politics, it’s about learning from what happened and ensuring we are better prepared for the future. 

“This dark lesson should also serve to inform Governments about the importance of building resilience into our cities and infrastructure.”

Mr Gannon said that, based on this quarter’s results, the following must be noted:

  • The December quarter has returned the second highest level of confidence on record (dating back to December 2011)
  • SA and Queensland were the only surveyed jurisdictions to record quarterly decreases in confidence
  • There has been a significant drop in staffing level expectations over the next 12 months, below the national average
  • SA is one of only three states that expect state growth expectation to go backwards, including WA and Queensland
  • There has been a significant decrease in retirement living capital growth expectations at the same time the Government is trying to impose the punitive statutory buyback on operators

 

 

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

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Media contact:  Daniel Gannon |E  dgannon@propertycouncil.com.au