While much of the state remains victim to the two-speed economy, agents believe the recent change in government will bring a turn for the better
The dichotomy in growth between resource-rich “boom” areas and the rest of Queensland appears set to persist for a long time yet.
“It’s no secret we have a two-speed economy,” says Associate Professor Clive Warren, property expert at the University of Queensland. “Some areas are trotting along very well and the rest of the state is sort of standing still basically. It’s pretty tough everywhere else.”
However, growth in Brisbane and other major centres in the south-east of the state has led to what has been described as a “three-speed” economy by Anton Kardash, chief executive of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ).
“Queensland is a patchwork at the moment, where we’re seeing sustained growth in areas affected by mining at one end of the spectrum,” Kardash says. “The other end of the spectrum, the tourist areas, we’re seeing perhaps the slowest recovery, and then in the middle we’ve got Brisbane and the other major areas which are all showing green shoots of growth.”
Green shoots in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast
Optimism characterises the current Brisbane market, which is set to reach the bottom of the property cycle, according to Aaron Maskrey, research director at PRDnationwide.
“Brisbane will probably bottom out completely by about third quarter 2012,” he says. “A lot of confidence overall in the market had been sapped by the turbulence of the financial markets, the equity markets going up and down all the time because of what was going on overseas in the American economy and the European markets.”
Maskrey believes the apparent resolution of these crises, with greater job creation in the US and the bailouts in the EU, is leading to restored confidence in the Brisbane market.
Outside Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast has been tipped as another region ready for growth. “Although it’s a tourism area, the Sunshine Coast is on the cusp of some major development and will really start to take off,” says Kardash.
The Maroochydore CBD is currently being redeveloped following the removal of an inner-city golf course, allowing for a new city plan. Kardash also points to the $2bn Sunshine Coast University Hospital at Kawana, which will be “a shot in the arm” that would “pull the area out of the doldrums.”
Welcome slashing of red tape
The change in state government, following the landslide victory of Campbell Newman’s Liberal National Party, will enhance a feeling of positivity and will be good overall for the marketplace, according to Kardash.
Newman’s campaign slogan was ‘Can Do’, and according to Kardash, this applies just as suitably to the Premier’s plans for property development.
“The commitment by the LNP to remove some of the onerous red tape in purchasing will be a real positive, as seen by the concessional stamp duty arrangements for selling principal places of residence,” says Kardash. “Because this affects a very large segment of the marketplace, we would expect to see this really push along the green shoots we are seeing.”
Newman garnered a pro-development reputation during his time as Mayor of Brisbane and Kardash sees him becoming very involved in facilitating activity in the property market.
“We think the stamp duty exemption will have a much wider impact than the Labor government’s $10,000 building boost grant,” Kardash says. “The building boost was poorly taken up and is only available to a much smaller part of the market than the stamp duty rebate. The tax exemption will touch more people.”
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