Canberra’s property industry “is one of the worst performing markets” in the latest quarterly ANZ/ Property Council Survey.
However, Property Council ACT executive director Adina Cirson said Canberra’s performance is on the back of a succession of strong quarters.
“This survey shows an amber light after a sustained period of green lights,” she said.
“The latest survey is sending some mixed signals and they should be watched carefully.”
The September 2018 quarter survey measured the views of more than 1000 property industry professionals across the country on eight government and economic factors. Canberra declined in all but one category – with retirement living surging by 20.8 points.
“Indicators such as forward work schedule expectations have dampened this quarter, dropping well below the June-quarter high, which had us leading the nation,” said Ms Cirson.
“We are now seeing a levelling of these labour expectations but there is still a decent confidence in hiring more staff, and that their financial outlook continues to hold.”
In the report, each state and territory is given a confidence index score, a score of 100 is considered neutral.
Over the quarter, the ACT’s score dropped by eight points to 136. It is below the national average of 138, and is the second worst performing with NSW coming in last at 134.
- Related: Clearance rates drop in the north but surge in the south
- Related: ACT loans drop 17.1 per cent over the first three months of 2018
- Related: ACT market remains strong, PRDnationwide report
Not only was retirement living the sole category to experience growth in the ACT but it leads the nation.
“This quarter we see rising expectations in the retirement living sector coupled with a further confidence drop in the ACT government’s performance and ability to plan and manage for growth,” said Ms Cirson.
“We remain concerned that demand is outstripping supply in the retirement living sector, with the latest ACT population projections estimating the number of seniors aged 65 and over will increase from 53,000 in 2018 to 95,000 by 2041.
“If this trend continues, the number of ACT seniors will double within the next three decades, reaching 120,000 by 2050.”
The ANZ/ Property Council Survey comes after the ABS May 2018 housing finance figures released on Wednesday showed the ACT had the largest decrease of housing finance in trend terms in the nation.
“In trend terms decreases were recorded in all states and territories except Tasmania, where lending increased by 0.3 per cent. The largest decrease of 1.9 per cent was in the Australian Capital Territory,” said Real Estate Institute of Australia president Malcolm Gunning.
“The continued decline in housing finance confirms the feedback from the market that the APRA restrictions and fallout from the royal commission into banking have resulted in an extremely cautious approach by lenders.”