Confidence in Tasmania's property sector rose slightly over the last quarter but still remains the lowest in the nation, according to new research.
The latest Property Council of Australia-ANZ Property Industry Confidence Survey shows Tasmania suffered the fifth consecutive period of negative confidence.
Tasmania rated 87 on the survey's confidence index for the December quarter, a slight improvement on the 86 recorded for the September quarter. A score of 100 is considered neutral.
The survey polled more than 3500 professionals from the property and construction sector in all states and territories for their forward-looking views.
“This is our fifth survey in the series and it shows that confidence in Tasmania’s property industry is not recovering quickly, despite a one index point gain,” says Property Council Tasmanian Executive Director, Mary Massina.
“The key issues of state economic growth and forward construction levels show that the state’s biggest private sector industry is doing it extremely tough, which adversely impacts on Tasmania’s economic growth."
“The outlook for forward construction work over the next quarter is close to neutral, but there is an expectation by industry that it will weaken over the next 12 months, signalling another year of industry pain.”
ANZ Head of Property Research, Paul Braddick, says the Survey result reflects weak economy activity in Tasmania, with negative trend state final demand (-3.0 percent in the year to June 2012), a trend unemployment rate of 6.8 percent in August 2012 (compared to the national average of 5.2 percent) and house prices 6.3 percent lower in the year to August.
"A subdued outlook for the Tasmanian economy for 2012-13, and weak construction activity expectations, presents some further downside risk to Tasmania’s property industry going forward," Mr Braddick says.
Ms Massina says the poor economic outlook potentially means a further drop in investment across the residential and commercial property sectors, increasing unemployment and forcing more people to leave the state to find work.
"Despite the fact that the industry has been highlighting the need for systematic reform to the Government, Liberal and Green Parties, there has been little if any action or acknowledgement of the seriousness of the issues," Ms Massina says.
The Survey reveals the three most serious barriers to investment in property: 59.7 percent of respondents view domestic economic conditions as an impediment, 59.7 percent identify the state political environment, and 29.2 percent indicate planning controls.
The Survey shows 78.9 percent of Tasmanian respondents believe the State Government is doing a poor job at planning and managing growth.
"Enough is enough. The time for action is now, before the industry and the 40,000 Tasmanians who directly or indirectly rely on the property industry for jobs, are forced to shut up shop," Ms Massina says.
Mary Massina, Property Council Executive Director, Tasmania
Ph: 0408 594 312
Paul Braddick, Head of Property Research, ANZ
Ph: 03 9273 5987