At the 2016 Property Council Outlook lunch that Samantha Reece moderated last week, our expert panel had some true words of wisdom.
Paige Walker, Residential Development Director for Mirvac, stated that the company was seeing a steady sales pattern and while the volume wasn’t overly high, it was at least consistent. She believed that 2016 was a year of stabilisation and normalisation and that we could expect to see green shoots by mid-2017.
Lloyd Jenkins, Senior Managing Director for CBRE, was also optimistic about the apartment market stating that the tightening of availability of greenfields land would create a stronger demand for higher density living. This coupled, with the ability for the universities to now directly engage with Asian based communities to entice students to WA, would also have a positive flow on effect, with overseas families tending to buy in WA so that they could visit their children as needed.
The office specialists, which included John Williams, Managing Director JLL; Imran Mohiuddin, State Chief Executive Officer Colliers; and John Corbett, Managing Director Knight Frank, all believed that now was the time to buy office and commercial properties, many at below replacement cost.
John Corbett cited the case of selling an office premise to a Singaporean buyer for $20 million in the 1990’s which was now worth $200 million. But as they all surmised, you needed to do your homework and pounce when the chance presented itself.
Finally, Jim Tsagalis Managing Director for Lease Equity stated that while we may have seen long standing chains such as Laura Ashley and Dick Smith fall over in recent times, he was aware that there were a number of European chains, including Aldi, who were keen to enter the WA market. The changes to deregulation had certainly hurt the mum and dad operators, but the bigger chains were embracing this new era with the introduction of self-serve checkouts, etc.
Overall, the panellists believed that the industry had seen far worse – and while there had been some adjustments with the mining sector, which had undoubtedly had its impact, Perth and WA needed to undergo a period of normalisation so that the market could once again become more affordable.
The consensus was that 2016 would be a tough year – but that meant having to be innovative and hard working – and we at PropertyESP have no doubt that we have all faced this challenge in the past and met it head on.
As the moderator, Samantha really enjoyed the dialogue at the lunch and came away feeling that there definitely was light at the end of the tunnel.
What’s your thoughts for 2016? We would be interested to hear your predictions!