WA property industry players cautiously upbeat

West Australian property industry participants are more optimistic about the outlook for state economic growth of the states surveyed in the ANZ/Property Council Survey for the December 2019 quarter.

While the survey, conducted in September, revealed a post-Federal Election slump in overall WA property industry confidence to 122 points, (down from 134 points in the previous quarter), overall industry sentiment in WA was ahead of the national average, and second-highest of all the states. An index score of 100 is considered neutral.

Economic growth expectations were the highest of the states at 11.8 index points for the December 2019 quarter, although down from the post-election high of 37.3 points in the September quarter.

WA’s industrial growth expectations, at 14.4 index points, were below the Australian average of 21.8 points, but improved on the September 2019 quarter, when it was 13.7 points. Overall, WA property industry participants expected to hire fewer staff, have less work and were less confident about capital values for office, retail and the retirement living sectors for the December 2019 quarter than for the September 2019 quarter.

The outlook for improvements in residential housing prices was also most subdued in WA of all the States, at 3.6 index points, compared with 21.2 points in New South Wales, 20.6 points in Victoria and 25 points in Queensland.

“Every other State has significantly higher house-price growth expectations,” Property Council WA Executive Director Sandra Brewer said.

“We are one of the States that should have cause for optimism and we’d encourage the State Government to identify the role it can play in stimulating activity in residential property.

“It is a critical time for government to consider policies to support families struggling with negative equity in their homes and construction workers looking for jobs.”

Ms Brewer said overall the ANZ/Property Council Australia survey revealed the property industry wanted Federal Government action on cities and infrastructure delivery, followed by housing supply and affordability and action on energy, environment and emissions.

“We’re delighted that Cities Minister Alan Tudge is committed to pursuing a Cities Deal for Perth and that is being progressed to make city building and infrastructure a priority in WA,” Ms Brewer said.

Of all the States, WA property participants rated the performance of its State Government the highest. However, the industry said it was critical that the State Government addressed property taxes and charges as its top priority, as well as planning and regulation reform and housing supply and affordability.

“We are seeing good progress on planning and we’re confident that the State Government is listening carefully to our concerns about property taxes and charges,” Ms Brewer said. 

The ANZ/Property Council Survey started in 2011. It is now one of Australia’s largest surveys of sentiment in the property industry – our largest industry and employer which supports 1.4 million jobs. Respondents are drawn from across the property industry, including property developers, managers and agents and service providers. The Q4 2019 survey was conducted online between 3 September and 18 September and included 1068 respondents.

To view select ANZ/Property Council Survey historical data series, visit the Property Council’s Data Room

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

Contact:  Sandra Brewer | M 0418 501 030   | E sbrewer@propertycouncil.com.au