What’s happening to jobs, property investment confidence and a new view on downsizing

Jobs in demand; property confidence and downsizing – another action-packed three minutes blog.

1. Jobs in demand

Australia is a land of extremes – and in more ways than one.

The jobless rate across many Victorian and Tasmanian regions rose sharply in March, but in contrast there were marked improvements in Queensland, especially the Gold Coast – about bloody time you might add – and more of a mixed grill in the other states and three territories.

The jobless rate has doubled from 3.5% to 6.5%, or thereabouts, across inner and north-east Melbourne over the last twelve months.

Hmmmm, you were forewarned Melbourne.  An oversupply of housing and tougher conditions (both economic and political) for manufacturing is starting to catch up on Victorian businesses.

Yet for south-eastern NSW the jobless rate is under 2%, and the same applies west of Brisbane and across much of central Queensland.  But poor old Cairns still has one out of every ten people unemployed.

The jobs in demand, not surprisingly, are in the mining industry.  The hardest job to fill at present is a mining engineer, with more than 1,000 vacancies currently advertised.  Mining electricians are also hard to find, which might explain where our usual domestic electrician has nicked off to.  Project managers for mining and infrastructure projects are also in hot demand.

Two other hard-to-fill jobs are senior digital marketers and degree-qualified early childhood teachers.  Must be the impact of the baby-bonus…..and I can vouch for the shortage of decent digital geeks, as it took us almost a year – and three firms – to get our website going in the right direction.

And as for engineers…it is somewhat amazing that the guys (and girls) who could drink the most at university wound up somehow on the top of the pile.

2. Confidence remains sound

What a poxy sub-heading.  But it is the best I can come up with.

According to the latest PCA/ANZ Property Industry Confidence Survey – I tell you, the property industry really needs to work on what they call things! – house prices in several places are expected to rise next financial year.

Four out of five people living in the NT think they will do so, followed by 43% in WA; 28% in the ACT and 27% in Qld.  Very few expect prices to do much in Tasmania,Victoria, SA and even NSW.

General confidence in the property sector is highest in the NT, followed by WA and then Qld. Victoria and Tasmania are in the dumps and the others are flat-lining.

So, maybe a better sub-heading would have been, “Resources high, the rest sucks”.

In another survey just out – this time, inspiringly titled, QBE Lenders Mortgage Insurance Survey of the Australian Mortgage Market – 55% of the 1,162 people questioned throughout the country wanted to buy a property now, rather than later.  Many think that prices will rise in coming years.

Of those planning to buy a property in the next five years, most (70%) said they wanted to buy an existing dwelling and just 30% a new home.

Sadly, this survey preference rings true.

3. Downsizing

How you use this next tit-bit of information depends largely on your sex.

Recent research by The Economist has found that the average size-14 pair of ladies trousers is more than ten centimetres bigger at the waist today than in 1970.  A size 14 today fits like a former size 18.  That’s the equivalent of two whole dress sizes, guys!

The same “downsizing” is happening across the world, and not only for women’s clothing.

Men’s clothing is not immune.  Studies have shown that in many brands of men’s clothing, a label stating “waist 90 centimetres”, for example, can often be actually up to 10 centimeters bigger.

Well, I don’t care what The Economist says, I still wear size 34 pants and I am proud of it.  Just because the belt buckle is two notches further out doesn’t mean a damn thing!

Please pass this Missive on to 3 others.

Michael Matusik is the director of independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights.  Matusik has helped over 550 new residential developments come to fruition and writes the weekly Matusik Missive.  The Matusik Missive 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.


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Michael Matusik


Michael is director of independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights. He is independent, perceptive and to the point; has helped over 550 new residential developments come to fruition and writes his insightful Matusik Missive

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