Now in my second year as a Queenslander, I’m gaining more and more enthusiasm for the opportunities presented by one of Australia’s fastest growing States. Beyond the data (and a strange game where they throw the football around instead of kicking it), Queensland has presented the office with a suite of big projects, even bigger ideas and a market showing early signs of recovery – a property analyst’s dream.
State Final Demand (SFD) increased by 3.5% in the year to March 2013, which is the fastest growth rate of all the major States. Employment forecasts indicate a rising job market in the immediate future, anticipating an additional 36,000 jobs to be generated in 2013-14 alone, which is equivalent to a 1.5% increase.
Yes, the State’s rate of economic growth is expected to be sustained in line with the significant increase in production and exports, following the construction phase of major LNG projects. BUT… beyond the current wave of mining, Queensland has a growing base of tourism, universities and agriculture. All of which are poised to serve the aspirations of Asia’s rising middle-class for travel, education, food and lifestyle.
In recognition of this, the Queensland Government recently released a new Economic Directions Statement that recognises the role of airports in supporting Queensland’s economic growth and outlines a range of actions to support and facilitate airport expansion and employment across the State.
I see mounting evidence of a revitalised residential market in the lead up to Christmas. Buyers appear to be taking advantage of low interest rates with the chances of further rate cuts in the near term becoming less and less likely. I even note some positive rumblings from our development community with sales improving and some older project files being dusted off for another look. Mixed use and medium density projects proximate to infrastructure and jobs are becoming increasingly popular.
Coming into the New Year, my view is that the increased demand will be supported by a number of positive indicators in the State including population growth, consumer sentiment, major project announcements and the number of sales.
Outside the city limits, key regional centres such as Townsville and Toowoomba have continued to outperform the broader regional market. Understanding the true dynamic of the mining & resources sector and significance of agriculture is key.
We cannot ignore the significant government sector job cuts that occurred recently, and a tightening of the public purse, but this needs to be tempered with a growing appetite for investment and development in planning circles. The clear messaging from SEQ’s local government mayors at an industry breakfast a few weeks back was ‘deliver jobs’ and ‘catalyst projects’, we will provide you with an improved approvals process.
Like other parts of the Country, property opportunities exist in terms of strategic and well considered projects. What I find interesting and unique to Queensland is a wider palette of sectors driving growth. In this e-news I have provided a small discussion paper relating to Residential Market Geography – Submarkets and Segments. For future e-news releases I will cover off some other interesting finds over the past couple years in the mining and retail sectors, including:
- Centres Evolution – Is ‘walkability’ a sound planning principle?
- Mining – Can the regional property markets and communities benefit?
The idea – in true MacroPlan style – is to promote discussion and thought leadership. Enjoy!
Contact Joel Taylor, General Manager for QLD and NT today to discuss your property research requirements.