Housing correction could be on the horizon
Australia’s housing market is set to cool down with a correction possible over the next 12 months. A new report from research company AllianceBernstein suggests that despite positive data on employment recently, the labour market may not stay buoyant due to the slowdown in mining and energy sectors. Economist Guy Bruten says that a rise in unemployment would impact the housing market and highlights the change in conditions in Perth and surrounding areas where property has been underperforming compared to Sydney having been booming during better times in commodities. Recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has already shown a moderation of the growth rates in many markets and some analysts are suggesting that prices could fall by around 4 per cent in some markets; however in many cases that would not wipe out the gains of the last year.

Property Council welcomes urban development plans from new ACT ministry
Andrew Barr, Chief Minister of the ACT, announced a ministerial reshuffle yesterday and has appointed newly-elected Yvette Berry will have housing among her responsibilities. Barr will take responsibility for urban renewal working with Berry and the transport minister. The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the focus on urban development; ACT executive director Catherine Carter said: ““Canberra must prioritise urban renewal in our town centres – and most particularly in Civic. The ambitions laid out in the ACT Government’s City Plan – to attract more residents to the city centre, to reduce through-traffic, improve connections across the city and to the lake, and create a modern built environment – are encouraging, but more work needs to be done. The new Ministry of Urban Renewal is a good start.” She says that the new ministry presents an opportunity to cut the red tape that often holds back urban renewal projects. 

Queensland property body wants trio of reforms
Abolishing transfer duty (previously stamp duty), bringing back first homeowner grants on existing homes as well as new ones and allowing the use of superannuation funds by first home buyers are three reforms that would strengthen Queensland’s real estate industry. The changes are being called for by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland which says that with the local elections approaching the newly-elected lawmakers should do more to protect the industry, which it says contributes $8 billion and 50,000 jobs to the state economy.