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ACT budget, property, and growth plans for the future

August 04, 2022

Canberra is continuing to grow faster than any other capital city in Australia, as employment opportunities, access to services and the green surroundings continue appealing to the masses.

ACT Chief Minister & Treasurer Andrew Barr told the Canberra Business Chamber’s (CBC) 2022 ACT Budget Lunch that he is not surprised to see such significant growth to the ACT region.

“In simple terms, people have voted with their feet and they’re voting for Canberra,” he said.

The ACT’s property market has seen several years of strong growth and dwelling prices have continued to rise, up 1.5 percent in the June quarter of 2022, compared to a 0.2 percent fall nationally. The ACT is 16.3 percent higher than the national average over the year. 

While there is some change to consumer confidence as a result of the interest rate rises, real estate agents who have seen these evolutions before are advising that this is simply the market normalising, following the previously unheard increases in value and auction clearance rates.

“It is true we have seen a shift,” Independent Property Group sales agent Phil Smith explains.

“But this indicates a normalising market which is a welcome sigh of relief after the huge highs we saw over the last two years. The median house price is still strong, second only to Sydney.

“We’re seeing a shift towards the purchasing of units with Canberra’s median unit price now sitting second only to Sydney, the first time this has happened since 2012.

“Canberra remains a great place to buy and sell real estate.”

Barr told the CBC Budget Lunch audience that Canberra is a great place to live and work, as it has the lowest unemployment rate, at 3.1 percent and a workforce participation rate of 70 percent, compared to the national average of 66.8 percent.

With further investment and partnerships into sectors including tertiary education, hospitals and childcare, the attractiveness of Canberra will continue to increase, cementing it as a perfect place for families, workers, investors and travellers.

The ACT government is investing $140 million into social and affordable housing and $100 million into community support and social inclusion.

ACT Property Council President Arabella Rhode, who was on the panel at the CBC Budget event, told the audience that while investment in universities is necessary, there also needs to be a focus on ensuring Canberra has the vocational skills to keep up with development in the territory.

“Often when talking about the skills and knowledge economy, the focus is too heavy on knowledge and not on ensuring we have those skills,” she said.

Rhode also highlighted the Build to Rent market in Canberra as a solution to rental availability, with Canberra’s vacancy rate sitting at less than one percent.

“Bringing on Build to Rent is important for managing the rental stock,” Rhode said.

To help meet this demand, Independent Property Group is building out a specialist Build to Rent team which will be headed up by Nicole Short, who brings a wealth of experience across hotels, management and marketing from both Las Vegas and Australia.

If you would like to know more about Build to Rent or discuss your property needs, get in touch today to find out how we can Make It Happen.