Opinion: Softening Confidence In NSW Requires Bold Leadership

The latest ANZ/Property Council Survey released on Thursday, April 20 showed softening in the NSW property industry’s confidence despite still leading the nation.

The Property Council said that NSW industry confidence dropped from 149 index points in March to 145 index points in June, signifying there is still some industry uncertainty on the direction of the new NSW Government leadership team.

“Forward work expectations, expected staffing levels and economic growth expectations have all dropped off in this quarter showing an industry still finding its feet with the new leadership team in NSW,” Property Council NSW Deputy Executive Director Cheryl Thomas said.

He said the lower staffing expectations was particularly concerning given the industry currently contributes one in ten jobs to the NSW economy.

“There is still strong capital growth expectations across the residential, office, industrial and retirement living sectors indicating future growth expectations are still strong,” Ms Thomas said.

“Tighter lending policies will also influence the local market dampening what has been rocketing confidence in NSW.

“What this most recent survey indicates is that the NSW industry is still strong, yet the upcoming State budget needs to be brave and bold to ensure long term growth and investment continues.”

Following the review of their survey data, the Property Council outlined five things the Berejiklian Government should do in the next six months to boost industry confidence:

  1. Scrap the surcharges on land tax and stamp duty on companies building and providing NSW with the housing it desperately needs.
  2. Revise the thresholds for stamp duty concessions that are currently available to first home buyers to current market conditions.
  3. Update archaic stamp duty tax brackets. On the current scale, more than 50 per cent of properties in Sydney are being slogged with the highest rate of stamp duty.
  4. Extend ‘code assessment’ to take in apartments including high-rise and mixed use developments, as available in other states and territories.
  5. Unlock more land through boosting funding to provide enabling infrastructure such as sewage, water, and electricity.

“The property industry makes a significant contribution to the economic fortunes of NSW; strong leadership on bold reform is needed to ensure this continues,” Ms Thomas said.

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