Here’s the 3 minutes of good weekend property reading.
Then you can get back to enjoying your weekend…
1. Employment up
Employment rose by 50,000 in April after falling by 31,000 jobs in March.
Economists had expected a 12,000 lift in jobs in April, whereas full-time jobs rose by 34,000 & part-time jobs rose by 16,000 in April. The unemployment rate fell to 5.5%.
Were more than 50,000 jobs created in one month? It’s unlikely – and just as unlikely that over 30,000 jobs were lost in the previous month.
The wide fluctuations could be put down to various factors – sampling problems, the limited ABS budget and timing being an early Easter this year.
But overall, the job market is in good, but not great, shape.
Importantly, the working age population has expanded by 335,000 over the past year – one of the biggest increases on record – and the jobless rate (as measured by the ABS) still remains quite low.
Closer to home, over the last 12 months, Queensland created 6,800 new jobs – all in part-time work – as the state lost 20,000 full time positions since April 2012. Some good news is that 5,000 new full time jobs were created in the last month, though the longer-term trend is down.
The Queensland residential market is starting to recover, but it won’t do so in earnest until the state starts creating full-time jobs.
Rightly so, Queensland needs a plan.
But sadly Queensland’s institutions have not, in the past, been very effective in developing sound strategic policies.
For mine, it is more important to take into account the insights of leading edge practitioners than running around the state seeking community input.
My experience, when it comes to new residential development, is that the community, by & large, does not want change, even if it is constructive. Any plan for Queensland needs to involve change, and most likely lots of it, & many in the general community will resist it.
The challenge for the Newman government will be to have Queenslanders embrace the plan & the changes required to economically advance the state.
2. Time & discount
Two indicators of residential market strength are ‘time on the market’ & ‘private treaty discounts’ – when they are falling, this usually means a market is getting stronger. The opposite trend often means a deteriorating market.
The average number of days on market in the Sydney property market is currently 85. It is 95 in the Melbourne property market; 123 in Brisbane; 129 in Adelaide; 97 in Perth; 85 in Canberra; 118 in Newcastle & 168 on the Gold Coast.
They have fallen in Perth (down 20%) & also in Brisbane; Adelaide & on the Gold Coast (all by about 10%); & remain steady in the other locations, except Canberra & Melbourne, which have seen slight a slight increase.
Average discounting ranges from 4.9% in Canberra to 8.5% on the Gold Coast, according the APM.
Things are improving in the Brisbane property market, as well as in Sydney, Adelaide, Perth & especially the Gold Coast – where the average discount off an asking price was over 12% just twelve months ago. Things have gotten worse in Newcastle & Canberra. They remain steady in Melbourne.
3. House sales
Also out this week were the ABS house price results. The actual house price results confirm other recent findings, in that the Australian housing recovery has paused.
The ABS also provides an estimate on actual house sales, which shows for the capital cities that 160,000 sales took place in the last 12 months – little change on the year before.
In Sydney there were 45,000 (house sales); Melbourne also 45,000; Brisbane 29,000; Adelaide 14,000; Perth 24,000; Hobart 3,000; Darwin 1,500 & Canberra 4,000.
Falls were experienced in Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart & Canberra (up to 9%) – Sydney remained steady & a lift in sales volumes were experienced in Brisbane (17% on last year); Perth & Darwin (both 5%).
Michael is the director of independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights and writes the Matusik Missive which is free, however, reprinting, republication or distribution of any portion of this material, or inclusion on any website, is strictly prohibited without the written permission of Matusik Property Insights and may incur a charge.