ACT property sector confidence rebounds but still subdued

The latest ANZ/Property Council Survey has shown ACT property industry confidence has lifted (the highest in the country) but is still well below pre COVID-19 levels, demonstrating that the pandemic continues to significantly impact all ACT property sectors.

ACT property industry confidence has increased 30 index points from 64 to 94 over the quarter but remains well off the high of 144 points in December 2019. A score of 100 is considered neutral.

“The last few months have been a challenge for all sectors across the property industry. Managing this crisis has been a tough for all businesses so it is good to see that there has been an uplift in sentiment and see that there is a positive light in this.” Property Council ACT Executive Director Adina Cirson said today.

“What is pleasing is that the forward work schedule expectations for the next 12 months, the belief that the construction pipeline will improve, and staffing levels will increase all returning to the positive. They are the only measures to have moved out of the negative index results. However, all property sector sentiments except retirement living remain in the negative, and as such well below the pre COVID-19 market expectations.

“Undoubtedly, some sectors have been hit harder than others, with hotels and tourism being hit the hardest, followed by retail and commercial office. Overall a significant impact on all sectors is expected, with all sectors reporting a moderate to serious impact with relation to construction schedules and growth expectations over the next few months.

“These results highlight the absolutely critical nature of our work with the ACT Government to keep construction going and to keep those who are working in the property and construction industries in a job. Our industry is going to be vital in the post COVID-19 recovery phase, and ensuring we have a solid pipeline of construction projects is essential.

“Survey participants reported having greater confidence in the ACT Government’s ability to plan and manage growth than the last quarter, but cites the top critical issues for the government to stimulate growth are addressing property taxes and charges, planning and regulation, housing supply and affordability and development around transport corridors.

Also of note was the positive response to the HomeBuilder Grants scheme which was announced by the Federal Government, and being implemented by the ACT Government, with applications for the scheme opening this week. (https://www.revenue.act.gov.au/covid-19-assistance/homebuilder-grant). Nearly 60 % of respondents believe that it will positively impact their businesses.

“The key to ensuring that the property industry is leading the economic recovery are considerations of further stimulus measures to incentivise development and improve purchaser inquiries. We will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 and engage with the government on what further reforms might be necessary to keep the sector growing,” Ms Cirson concluded.

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

Index

Overall Context

Quarterly Result

Quarterly Change

Comment

Confidence Index

NEGATIVE

UP

64-94

The highest in the nation

State Economic Growth

NEGATIVE

UP

-76.5 to -18.8

Sentiment outperforms other jurisdictions

State Govt Performance

POSITIVE

UP

-2.4 to 6.3

Increase in sentiment to the positive territory

Forward Work Schedules

POSITIVE

UP

-16.4 to 11.2

The result is in line with national trends

Staffing Levels

POSITIVE

UP

-3.5 to 3.5

The highest in the nation

House Capital Growth

NEGATIVE

UP

-27.8 to -21.2

Outperformed other major states

Office Capital Growth

NEGATIVE

UP

-40.1 to -36.7

The only state to show an improvement

Retail Capital Growth

NEGATIVE

UP

-87.5 to -51

Retail remains in the negative

Industrial Capital Growth

NEGATIVE

UP

-36.6 to -9.4

The lowest in the nation.

Hotel Capital Growth

NEGATIVE

UP

-87.5 to -50.7

Slow recovery from the large drop in the June results

Retirement Living

POSITIVE

UP

-20.8 to 0.9

The highest in the nation

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

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