Published: October 11, 2018

CONFIDENCE in the state’s property sector has dipped slightly but remains the highest in the country, according to a survey of the industry.

The latest ANZ/Property Council Survey reveals the statewide index has fallen five points from a record high of 149 points in the previous quarter, where a reading of 100 indicates neutral sentiment. The national index fell 12 points to 126.

South Australia was the only state to record an increase in the expected rate of house price growth in the coming 12 months, while expectations for capital growth in the office, industrial, retail and hotel markets also rose.

Property Council SA executive director Daniel Gannon said while other states had seen significant falls in confidence, South Australia had remained relatively steady.

He attributed the result to the recent abolition of stamp duty on commercial property transactions, upcoming defence projects and the State Government’s land tax cuts.

“Confidence levels are almost 30 points above South Australia’s historic average, and currently sit almost 20 points above the national average,” he said.

“Similarly, state economic growth expectations are also significantly higher than the rest of Australia.”

The ANZ/Property Council Survey was launched in 2011 and includes responses from property industry professionals across the country.

Asked about the State Government’s ability to plan and manage economic growth, South Australian respondents remained the most positive in the country despite the index falling seven points to 12, where 0 represents neutral sentiment.

Mr Gannon - a former media adviser to Premier Steven Marshall when in opposition - said the absence of “punitive state taxes on car parks and banks” in last month’s State Budget provided certainty to the business community.

“Confidence in the State Government to manage the economy has remained in positive territory for the third consecutive quarter,” he said.

“This means there is goodwill across the sector, but it also means the new government needs to deliver its vision to reform and rebuild.”

At a national level, economic growth and energy efficiency have become more important issues for the Federal Government to address, according to survey respondents, while concerns around housing affordability have eased.

Confidence in the Federal Government’s ability to stimulate jobs and economic growth fell sharply in South Australia, reflecting a national trend.

Charter Hall regional development director Simon Stockfeld said the buoyant attitude in South Australia’s property industry was likely to result in a heightened level of investment.

“We own and manage approximately $1 billion of high quality real estate assets in South Australia,” he said.

“The latest Property Council/ANZ confidence survey findings are a great endorsement of our decision to not only invest, but create a permanent presence in the state.”

Article by Giuseppe Tauriello, originally seen in The Advertiser, 11 October 2018.