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Today in property: construction decline slowing, vendors pulling auctions, a tale of two polls

Updated: Apr 17, 2019

Domain Group data shows that in Sydney, 20 per cent of auction listings are being pulled before the big day because vendors don’t like their prospects. While there are pockets of strong demand, overall prices are still soft.

The Performance of Construction Index survey is out today. It told a different story to the ABS figures released last week, saying that construction starts have declined for 12 straight months – but that the rate of decline is slowing.

Speaking of differences of opinion, it’s a tale of two polls in federal politics today. According to The Australian Financial Review-Ipsos poll, Labor has the next election in the bag; Nine’s media is heralding a crushing defeat for the Morrison government. Yet on the same day, the larger Newspoll survey numbers are telling a different story, and the News Corp channels are calling it game on for the Coalition.

Either way, we still don’t know when the election is going to be held. It certainly won’t be May 11 now; there simply isn’t enough time to run the mandated minimum five week campaign. The pundits are saying either May 18 or 25, pending Morrison’s quick nip-around to see the GG and make it official.

All this will be held in the midst of what the IMF is saying is a synchronised global economic decline.

Unlike the last time things got more than a little shaky on the global economic front, Australia’s housing troubles have left us much more vulnerable to the impact. The IMF has warned that Australia will see the wealth of individuals take a hit in the short to medium term.

On that subject: if you can get through the paywall, this article from today’s AFR has a handy comparison table comparing the budget with Labor’s proposed cuts, showing annual tax savings to be had under each regime.

If this report on housing affordability for key workers by PwC is anything to go by, any tax breaks would come in handy right now. It’s a reminder that for a long time, key workers like teachers, nurses, ambos and fireys have not been able to afford to live and work in the same parts of Sydney – demonstrating once again that while prices are lower, affordability is still a big issue.

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