Property Sector Confidence Stays Low in Victoria


Confidence in Victoria’s property sector remains well below the national average with a national survey finding respondents do not have faith in that state government’s ability to plan for and manage growth.

Nationally confidence in Australia’s property sector remains high as the industry beats a path towards recovery for the economy, according to the ANZ-Property Council quarterly sentiment report.

The quarterly temperature check of industry sentiment on the outlook for Australia's economies found national industry confidence was at 139 points, the third-highest level since the survey began.

Victoria was at 122 points, more than 20 points below most other states, following an all-time low in March last year of 61 points.

Housing supply and affordability topped the list of critical issues both nationally and on a state basis for the second consecutive quarter.

Almost two-thirds of survey respondents believed the hotels, tourism and leisure sector would continue to be the most severely affected by the pandemic during the next three months followed by commercial office (21 per cent), and shopping centres (9 per cent).

ANZ senior economist Felicity Emmett said a large pipeline of residential construction work and solid expectations around property prices were bolstering confidence within the industry.

“While new Covid-19 restrictions are concerning, previous brief lockdowns have shown how resilient the economy and labour market is, suggesting that the outlook for the property sector is likely to remain very positive,” Emmett said.

The survey was conducted prior to the most recent lockdowns across the country.

Property Council group executive of policy and advocacy Mike Zorbas said the council supported the development of purpose-built quarantine arrangements to safely allow the return of students and high-value workers.

“With the health restrictions around the country that followed swiftly on the heels of this survey, we need ever more efficient procedures for safely quarantining arrivals in Australia and for exiting necessary lockdown arrangements as swiftly as possible,” Zorbas said.

“We welcome recent state measures to reactivate CBDs and we need government, business and the public service to work together to ensure the next rebound for our city centres around the country is even faster than the last.”

Zorbas said the property sector was doing the heavy lifting to drive Australia’s economic recovery.

“As Australia emerges from the current lockdowns, the property sector will again be essential to our economic prospects,” Zorbas said.

“Policymakers need to be looking at new ways to stimulate housing supply, our capacity to supply apartments in coming years and to support new job-creating opportunities.”

Zorbas said sentiment had remained high off the back of a positive Federal budget, but said investing in the right infrastructure, tackling housing affordability and phasing out stamp duty would be key to ongoing economic outcomes.

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