Canberra lags behind other capital cities
While the other capital cities are seeing stronger performance in general, Canberra continues to languish
The good news for the ACT is that unemployment has been down in recent months; the bad news is that the state continues to lag behind other capital cities in house price growth and sentiment.
RP Data figures show that during the 12 months ending March 2014, Canberra house prices rose a paltry 2.8% compared to the 11% growth of the combined capitals.
Rents are also falling in the capital. During the past 12 months rents fell by 6.2%, according to Australian Property Monitors (APM). Andrew Wilson, APM senior economist, says the ACT market is struggling for traction, and local economic issues through public service job shedding have acted as an impediment to house price growth over the past two years despite significant improvement in affordability through slashed interest rates.
“ACT continues to be the slowest growing of all capital city markets, with subdued confidence also an impediment to recovery,” he explains.
“At current growth levels ACT will be the laggard of all capital city markets in the cycle, with prices still hovering around levels of four years ago by mid-year.”
In a recent pre-budget submission to the Federal Government, the Property Council of Australia – ACT Division also confirmed that the state continues to have the lowest investment sentiment of any mainland state or territory.
The submission cites concerns that reform action and spending priorities are not being taken to best suit objectives, and of special concern are “disincentives to investment and development hindering potential growth and undermining the future prosperity of Canberra”.
SUBURB TO WATCH
A new suburb, Forde was completed only last year and is located 16km southwest of Canberra’s CBD.
While it may be new, Forde has quickly attracted the ‘right crowd’ and within the first year of establishment was identified by the ABS as the most advantaged area in the ACT.
The ABS Economic Indexes for Areas, which measures people’s access to material and social resources and their ability to participate in society, identified the area based on the residents’ level of education, occupations, number of bedrooms in their homes and how well they spoke English.
According to the ABS, Forde is also a leader in population growth, second in the state only to Bonner. Statistics show the area has experienced the largest and fastest growth in the state, increasing by 920 people from 2011 to 2012, almost 200 more than any other area except Bonner.
“The potential for growth is evident. Forde offers one of the best lifestyle locations in Canberra and is proving popular with many people. Additional infrastructure in the region will certainly expand population growth and Forde will benefit greatly,” explain Jeff and Leah Shortland of LJ Hooker Gunghalin.
“Forde is an attractive suburb and offers those elements that appeal to professional and executive-style families.”
As much as 29% of the suburb is dedicated to green space, including 11 parks and 39 hectares of wetlands and nature reserves.
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