Published: July 12, 2018

CONFIDENCE in the state’s property industry has hit a new high, according to a Property Council survey, with emerging opportunities in the defence sector seen as a trigger for renewed optimism.

The latest ANZ/Property Council Survey reveals the statewide index is up one point to 149 points, where a reading of 100 indicates neutral sentiment.

It is a record high result for the quarterly survey — which was launched by the industry body in 2011 — and the most bullish result in the country.

The good news follows Tuesday’s NAB business survey, which revealed business conditions in South Australia topped the nation on the back of a “mini mining boom” and resilient local housing market.

Property Council acting SA executive director Torie Brown said confidence levels were now 31 points above the state’s historic average.

“This is great news for the property sector and economy, confirming that last quarter’s

increase was the start of a trend instead of an anomaly,” she said.

“It seems like South Australia’s economy is responding to growth in the defence sector and a

renewed focus on future industries including space and hi-tech manufacturing.

“When it comes to the property sector, it seems that South Australians are now the most

optimistic people in the country.”

The Property Council’s latest survey is the first conducted since the election of the Marshall Liberal Government in March.

Asked about the State Government’s ability to plan and manage economic growth, South Australian respondents were the most positive in the country with an index level of 19 — well ahead of the national average of 0, which represents neutral sentiment.

South Australia respondents were also the most confident in the ability of the Federal Government to stimulate jobs and economic growth

“State economic growth expectations are also significantly higher than the rest of Australia,” Ms Brown said.

“It seems that South Australia’s post-election momentum is continuing to build.”

South Australian property professionals are also the most confident about their forward work schedules in the year ahead, and their expectations for capital growth in the housing market also topped the other states.

Construction activity in the state’s industrial, retail, retirement living and hotel sectors is expected to lift during the next 12 months, while expectations around staffing levels also improved in the last quarter.

At a national level, tax reform has become a more important issue for the Federal Government to address, according to people working in the property industry, while concerns around housing affordability have eased.

Article by Giuseppe Tauriello originally appeared in The Advertiser on 12 July 2018.