2016 in review – commentary from Managing Director Samantha Reece

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Well true to its predictions, 2016 did show some green shoots in Perth’s property recovery.

I remember hosting the 2016 Property Council Outlook lunch in February, where experts such as Paige Walker and Lloyd Jenkins stated that they felt that we had hit the bottom of the market and we were in a period of stabilisation.

And since then we have had these claims reconfirmed by the likes of Warwick Hemsley and REIWA President Hayden Groves.

As Lloyd also predicted, education has come to the fore with Curtin University’s plans to house 20,000 students in its own dedicated city well under way.

And the hospitality and retail sectors are also now playing a more pronounced role in the state’s economy.

The construction of 5 star hotels such as the Ritz Carlton, the 50,000sqm expansion of Carousel Shopping Centre and the $250 million Kings Square redevelopment all spell positive outcomes for Perth.

Add to this the construction of Perth Stadium, the Swan River Pedestrian Bridge and the train line to Perth Airport and on to Forrestfield, and I am beginning to wonder what else we need to see to demonstrate that Perth is far from faltering.

We have several precincts also undergoing revitalisation including Scarborough, Canning Bridge, Murdoch and Canning City Centre which will densify the CBD ring and apartment living.

When you consider all these developments, it is quite evident that Perth is going through a period of disruption and, despite what some may protest, this is a good thing.

At PropertyESP, we have seen some areas such as Fremantle, Scarborough and The Springs hold their own and even grow in property value over the past five years. And where there are improvements to infrastructure, our research shows that there are positive flow on effects to property values.

And as we stare ahead to 2017 we can expect to see some interesting twists, with of course the State Election in March.  Any change in government will be followed by a period of adjustment, with major projects in the pipeline of works, the legacy of the Barnett Government will continue for several years yet regardless of the election outcome.

Despite what faction you may favour, it is clear that Perth needs this wave of investment to continue and the injection by the State Government to date of Elizabeth Quay, Northbridge Link and Perth Stadium has given the private sector the confidence to also invest and that has been a major sustaining factor to our ability to ride out the mining downturn with some robustness.

So as we say adieu to 2016 – we have to do so with some mixed feelings.  We have seen some green shoots but other sectors such as the office sector are certainly feeling the pinch.

But as they say – no pain – no gain?

And so maybe these tough times in the office sector will spur some other investment wave?

Regardless, I am looking forward to 2017 and the ongoing evolution of Perth!

To all our readers and their families – may you celebrate the conclusion of 2016 with great gusto! Regards the team at PropertyESP.

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