National Economic Update
Mirvac's 2019 National Economic Property Update explored by property experts.
by Alexandra Gray
Whether you are buying a property as your own home or as an investment, research will play an important role in your decision.
For over 45 years Mirvac has used comprehensive research and economic analysis to underpin its investments. Our continued success – at every stage of the property cycle – is testament to the company’s inherent understanding of the Australian property sector.
We are industry experts. We are continually asked what makes a great suburb, what drives capital growth and what areas will guarantee a good return on investment. These questions can only be answered by meticulous research and in-depth economic analysis.
In the following pages we have asked Mirvac’s in-house research team to give you a market snapshot of the regions where Mirvac has chosen to invest.
Sydney’s economy continues to be underpinned by high population growth, solid employment growth and record infrastructure spending.
Employment has been a particular bright spot in Sydney. Rolling annual employment growth in the year to February 2019 is at a fast 3.7%, significantly above the past 10-year average of 2.0%.
A record infrastructure pipeline will continue to support further activity. In December, the NSW state government increased it’s infrastructure commitment to more than $90bn over the years 2022-23, with a large focus on transport. Sydney will also benefit from further capital commitments from the Federal Government on major road projects and with the construction of the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport that began in late 2018. This will be a significant jobs growth catalyst, along with the Aerotropolis into the 2020s.
Further large projects such as the West Metro, the North South metro line from Badgerys Creek to St Marys and various large-scale hospital developments will also extend Sydney’s currently large infrastructure pipeline.
Victoria’s economy continues to be notably stronger than the rest of Australia. Important supporting fundamentals for Melbourne include a sustained migration-led surge in population growth. Melbourne population growth is 2.5% per annum currently, well above the national pace of 1.6% per annum and remains Australia’s fastest growing city.
While housing construction activity will cool over the next few years from previous strong levels, business investment has increased 11% over the year to December 2018 and up 34% since end 2013.
Similar to NSW, the work pipeline looks strong for both non-residential building and private infrastructure work, consistent with demands from a fast growing population.
Investment from the public sector is a key standout, now up 20% over the past year and 72% since the low point in September 2014.
While Queensland’s economy has improved in the last few years, both droughts and floods have had huge impact on the state’s growth. Still, Brisbane has a number of supportive fundamentals.
The state government has a strong growth agenda for investment in infrastructure and services. The state’s 2018-2109 budget saw a commitment to $46 billion in infrastructure spending until 2021-22. Solid commitments to continued investment in front-line essential services – health and education will also support job growth. Brisbane is now Australia’s second fastest growing city, behind Melbourne.
Population growth has lifted to 2.1% pa, far above the national average of 1.6% pa. Brisbane’s population increased by around 50,000 people in the year to June 2018, with a continued increase in migrants from interstate, attracted by the city’s affordability and improved employment prospects.
Economic growth has been bumpy in Perth over the past year as the economy adjusts to the final drop in mining investment. Improving momentum will take some time, but better commodity prices could add some upside.
The state’s mining sector is showing positive signs of activity, with key commodity prices exceeding expectations, particularly for iron ore. This is showing signs of passing through to investment and may provide a boost to state government revenues.
The Perth CBD office market is reflecting this shift with net absorption by firms well exceeding long-term averages over the past two years. A reduction in sub-lease space (where tenants take back surplus office space in anticipation of further hiring and occupancy expansion) has been evident; sub-lease space in the Perth market has more than halved in the past few years.
With dwelling approvals trending lower, the Perth residential market is likely to be the first of the major cities to reach a more favourable supply/demand balance over the next year.
Perth now accounts for all of Western Australia’s population increase. In the year to June 2018, the Perth population increased by more than 21,500 people, while in the rest of WA the population declined by close to 600 people. Several major projects are reshaping the city landscape including the Forrestfield-Airport link, Perth City Link and Elizabeth Quay.
This high-level overview is just a small insight into the data we have at our fingertips. Mirvac’s sales agents are happy to talk you through our specific research for each project. Please enjoy the research outlined here and contact us for further information.
Strength from the public sector will be a strong support for economic activity over the next few years. The Victorian state budget showed public infrastructure work is set to rise further over the next few years with big projects like the Melbourne Airport rail link to support activity.
Disclaimer: Mirvac is not a provider of financial advice and purchasers should seek advice from appropriately qualified experts. The National Economic Update was prepared using data from the 2018-19 State Government Budget papers, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the NAB Monthly Business Survey, Federal Government infrastructure announcements and the Reserve Bank of Australia.