Confidence rebuilds in wake of land tax uncertainty

Confidence in South Australia’s property sector is rebuilding in the wake of uncertainty surrounding the State Government’s land tax changes, which passed Parliament in November last year.

According to the latest ANZ/Property Council Survey, statewide confidence in South Australia sits at 117 for the March 2020 quarter, increasing by 16 points on last quarter. The survey includes responses from property industry professionals from South Australia and across the country.

“While South Australia still sits at the back of the peleton, confidence levels have picked up by 16 points since last quarter – the equal highest quarterly increase on record,” said Property Council SA Executive Director Daniel Gannon.

“Unfortunately, this record-breaking quarterly uplift follows last quarter’s 43-point deterioration in the midst of the land tax uncertainty.

“If there is any good news in these numbers, it is that confidence is rebuilding and business uncertainty has been eliminated from the market. Property owners big and small now know what the tax environment will look like from July this year, which is important.

“While confidence levels sit 5-points below South Australia’s historic average and 6-points off the national pace, the trend is now back in the right direction.

“In terms of the State Government’s performance, we’re still in negative territory. This means there is much work to be done in order to restore trust in government decision-making.

“That said, South Australia is a ‘commercial stamp duty free zone’ and now boasts a more competitive land tax regime, which as a package is a compelling proposition for investors.

“This state’s anti-competitive land tax rates and low thresholds have long discouraged investors from looking to invest here, which means it’s time to advertise our new tax settings.”

The survey also revealed the following:

  • National economic growth expectations, whilst still in negative territory, have experienced the biggest quarterly increase in more than six years
  • State economic growth expectations are ‘back in black’ with a 25-point quarterly increase
  • Residential house price growth expectations sit 8-points above the historic average, with a 21-point quarterly increase
  • Office price growth expectations have experienced the biggest quarterly increase on record, as have retail and industrial price growth expectations

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