Long-term renters will be more abundant while luxury properties will continue to suffer due to an uncertain employment market in 2013, according to the general manager of one group.
“As ever, demand for housing product and activity in the different market segments will be influenced by the employment outlook,” general manager of Laing+Simmons, Leanne Pilkington said.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show nearly 14,000 jobs were added in November 2012, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.2 per cent from 5.4 per cent in October. On the surface there appears reason for optimism.
“However, closer investigation of the figures reinforces the uncertainty contributing to cautious sentiment in the marketplace,” according to Ms Pilkington.
The November statistics show a decline in the participation rate – the number of people in work or looking for work – while the number of part-time jobs continues to rise as the creation of new full-time positions lags.
“The impact of the current employment market on residential property, with increasing numbers of permanent part-time employees, could potentially result in more long-term renters,” she said.
“This should underpin values of quality rental product, particularly well located apartments, while also improving demand from investors moving forward.
“However, activity among first home buyers, an important indicator for the health of the overall market, may remain subdued.
“From a top-end perspective, freezes on salary increases and bonuses are likely to continue, which should see top-end prices remain relatively flat.
“We see the middle market segment and more affordable suburbs dominating activity in the first half of 2013,” she said.