|Thursday, 15 August 2013|
A vast majority of agents are not happy with how the federal government has managed the Australian economy, according to a recent industry survey.
The Real Estate Business Half-Yearly Sentiment Survey has revealed 82.6 per cent of 287 respondents have said the federal government is not doing a good job of managing the economy. When asked, only 13.2 per cent said ‘no’, while the remaining 4.2 per cent were ‘unsure’.
Principal of Harcourts South Coast in South Australia Mark Forde told Real Estate Business he felt the government was making poor decisions for the economy.
“Small business confidence is completely shot. I think that transgresses all the way back down the pipeline,” he said.
“No-one has any clarity of the direction of the government and its decision-making is poor, so there’s a real lack of confidence in the community which transcends all businesses, particularly retail and property.”
Managing director at Morton & Morton and Australian Real Estate Awards Thought Leader, Ewan Morton, said he felt the government had managed the economy well in light of the recent economic crisis.
“When I think about the confidence since the GFC [global financial crisis], I think the way they lowered the interest rates and they managed that actually probably averted us from a much harsher landing than what could have been,” he told Real Estate Business.
“I think from an agent’s point of view, turnover has dropped significantly as a result, and probably the financial hardship of people has been minimised as a result of that.”
The sentiment survey also revealed that 62.5 per cent of agents believed the upcoming federal election had a negative effect on the property market due to the uncertainty of a possible change of government. Thirty per cent said the property had continued as normal and another 7.4 per cent were unsure.
The result echoes another survey conducted by Loan Market, which found the federal election was discouraging potential borrowers from purchasing property.
The online poll of home loan shoppers found 43 per cent of 674 respondents were slightly more apprehensive about purchasing property, while 40 per cent said they weren’t deterred at all.
According to Mr Forde, a lot of people were in a state of flux and wouldn’t make a decision to sell or buy.
“Once the election is behind us and we’ve hopefully got a government elected with a clear mandate, I think it will give people a degree of certainty that whatever we’ve got, at least we can get on with it. Right now, there’s just too much uncertainty,” he said.
Mr Morton agreed and said, “Elections always make people a bit on their hands regardless of whatever everybody thinks the outcome will be. I think it does create a sense of uncertainty and I think it is one of the factors that has led to the current stock shortage, as people are waiting to see what will happen.”