Are There Genuine Signs of The Long Hibernation Being Over?

Emerging from HibernationIN VARIOUS recent articles, I’ve tried to explain how Australia’s underlying fundamentals are actually very solid.

And by most measures, our economy seems to be travelling at close to its full capacity.

However, the contradiction is that Australia’s budget should now be running at a substantial surplus. And the reason it’s not relates to a number of structural issues. [Read more…]

Commercial Property: Where Should You Invest, Right Now?

PCA Office Survey provides a snapshotEVERY SIX MONTHS, the Property Council of Australia (PCA) conducts a nation-wide survey on the state of the Office market around the country.

The accompanying graph will give you a quick snapshot of where things currently stand.

However, even the Commercial property market has been subject to the influences of the much talked about “2-speed economy”. [Read more…]

Australia, the Global Economy and Commercial Property

GERRY HARVEY appeared to sum it up fairly well in a recent interview:
“It was unusual to have such a poor sentiment at a time when Australia’s economy was relatively strong compared to America and some countries in Europe.”

Overseas Property Investors are currently very active Harvey feels Australia has an economy regarded as strong by outsiders. And yet there is a total lack of confidence, and businesses are therefore suffering.

Overseas investors are actively targeting Australian Commercial Property — accounting for around half of all sales of over $30 million. Whereas, local investors remain hesitant. [Read more…]

City Office Markets Starting To Reclaim Their Pre-GFC Values

Office Values heading back to pre-GFC LevelsIT HAS TAKEN almost 4 years … but 2012 should see the prime Office markets in Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide expunge the capital value lost through the GFC — according to CBRE research.

In turn, this will impact upon their suburban Office markets as well.

But it might take until 2016 before Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra are able to recoup that same lost ground. [Read more…]

Current Opportunities Within The Commercial Property Market

The "Emotional Cycle" suggests an upturn in activityCONTRARY TO THE VIEW of many pundits, it’s certainly not all gloom and doom out there.

The share market may well have been moving sideways within a 4000 to 5000 band, since 2009.

Plus, the two-speed economy only seems to be benefiting the miners and those within the service industries. And unfortunately, increased savings levels are frustrating the retailers no end.

However, my view remains that Australians are now poised ready to come off the bottom of the “Emotional Cycle” — armed with a level of savings seldom seen in previous upturns. [Read more…]

Commercial Property and The Current Economy

These are Better Indicators of our Economic Well-beingLAST WEEK, we explored just how the misuse of statistics by some commentators was distorting of the truth about Australia’s economic well-being, on a state-by-state basis.

So it is with several other indicators, as David Bassanese pointed out in a recent article (AFR: 22 March, page 36).

Many commentators are pushing for interest rates reductions, because the “economy is soft”. And they list … [Read more…]

Commercial Property to Benefit From Structural Changes Within the Economy

Industry Restructure is necessary for Australia's long-term growth.IN CASE you missed the lead story in last Friday’s Financial Review … the Treasury secretary (Martin Parkinson) was outspokenly critical of the government’s recent handouts to the car industry.

And more particularly, given the recent strong growth in the unemployment figures.

In his view, taxpayers ought not be subsidising so-called “strategic industries” — when these represent inevitable structural changes, which need to occur in order to make Australia more productive in the long-term. [Read more…]

What Will Happen to Interest Rates
When The RBA Meets Next Week?

THE GENERAL consensus seems to be that the RBA will further reduce rates by 25 basis points. But can this view be fully justified; and what does all this mean for Commercial property investors?

The RBA faces a real DilemmaMost pundits would point to the recent CPI figures and say “Yes”! And on the surface, an underlying inflation rate of 2.5% per annum is plumb in the middle of the RBA’s stated target zone.

Yet despite what seems to be a rather hesitant mood by consumers, inflation in the service sector actually surged by massive 4.4% per annum. And some other sectors (not affected by overseas competition) also finished the year strongly, growing by 3.9% per annum. [Read more…]

Commercial Property: Global Influence?

Things are picking up within the US EconomyTHE LAST quarter of 2011 saw a definite improvement in the US economy — with consumer spending up, and companies finally replenishing their inventories.

GDP increased by an annualised 3%, with improved sales for durable goods and new homes.

Petrol prices have been cheaper, since mid-2011; and the US jobless rate was the lowest in nearly 3 years.

Therefore, with improved employment figures, consumers have felt more comfortable spending — which represents around 70% of US economic activity. [Read more…]

Commercial Property: What Makes for a Balanced Office Market?

EVERY capital city has both a CBD and suburban Office market. And as you can appreciate, keeping tabs on all the various suburban markets is almost an impossible task for most investors.

But generally speaking, the health (or otherwise) of the CBD Office markets within each capital city will provide you with a fairly good gauge of the overall Office scene around Australia.

Accordingly, this graph will provide you with a clear picture of what has occurred over the past 4 years.

As a rule of thumb, Office markets are said to the “in balance”, when their Vacancy Rate lies between 5% and 7%. [Read more…]

Is There a Credit Squeeze Looming?

WILL COMMERCIAL property investors and businesses be starved of ready funds during 2012?

Is there a Credit Squeeze looming?The banks seemed to be protesting about the increased cost of offshore borrowing. And using that as their excuse for not wanting to pass on any future RBA rate reductions in full.

But are they really telling you the whole truth? [Read more…]