CEO Update 1 February 2019

Posted 1 February 2019

CEO Update 1 February 2019

This week MBA Australia released its latest forecasts for the housing market. The forecasts describe a challenging year ahead with Australia expected to face its toughest year in almost a decade.

The forecasts paint a more positive picture for the ACT. Based on a number of measures the ACT is currently the strongest performing economy in Australia:

  • The ACT's unemployment rate has stabilised at just 3.7%,
  • Population growth is accelerating at 2.2% per annum, and
  • Canberra's house prices are currently rising faster than in any other capital city outside Hobart and Darwin.

The report provides detailed forecasts for the residential, commercial and civil sectors, and are available free for members on our website.

While the slowing housing market is a reaction to many external factors, such as reaction to the Hayne Royal Commission, credit availability and uncertainty in the lead up to the upcoming Federal Election, the forecasts are also a timely reminder for the ACT Government to continue to support the local industry, especially through taxation policy and the capital works program.

MBA is currently preparing a number of submissions related to property taxes, including the Legislative Assembly inquiry in commercial rates, changes to land tax, and a review of Lease Variation Charges. Our message to Government in each of these submissions is simple … over taxing the property and construction sector will slow economic activity, impact small and family businesses, and push housing prices further out of reach of young Canberrans.

The ACT Government can also support local industry through a slowing economy by delivering a well-funded and long-term program of capital works.

How the ACT Government responds to changes in the local economy is a key issue all members will be looking towards when the ACT Budget is released in June.

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