Confidence in Tasmania’s property sector rose slightly over the last quarter but still
remains the lowest in the nation, according to new research.

The latest Property Council of Australia-ANZ Property Industry Confidence Survey
shows Tasmania suffered the fifth consecutive period of negative confidence.

Tasmania rated 87 on the survey’s confidence index for the December quarter, a slight
improvement on the 86 recorded for the September quarter. A score of 100 is
considered neutral.

The survey polled more than 3,500 professionals from the property and construction
sector in all states and territories for their forward-looking views.

“This is our fifth survey in the series and it shows that confidence in Tasmania’s
property industry is not recovering quickly, despite a one index point gain,” said
Property Council Tasmanian Executive Director, Mary Massina.

“The key issues of state economic growth and forward construction levels show that
the state’s biggest private sector industry is doing it extremely tough, which adversely
impacts on Tasmania’s economic growth.

“The outlook for forward construction work over the next quarter is close to neutral, but
there is an expectation by industry that it will weaken over the next 12 months,
signalling another year of industry pain.”

ANZ Head of Property Research, Paul Braddick, said the Survey result reflected weak
economy activity in Tasmania, with negative trend state final demand (-3.0 per cent in
the year to June 2012), a trend unemployment rate of 6.8 per cent in August 2012
(compared to the national average of 5.2 per cent) and house prices 6.3 per cent lower
in the year to August.

“A subdued outlook for the Tasmanian economy for 2012-13, and weak construction
activity expectations, presents some further downside risk to Tasmania’s property
industry going forward,” Mr Braddick said.

Ms Massina said the poor economic outlook potentially meant a further drop in
investment across the residential and commercial property sectors, increasing
unemployment and forcing more people to leave the state to find work.

“Despite the fact that the industry has been highlighting the need for systematic reform
to the Government, Liberal and Green Parties, there has been little if any action or
acknowledgement of the seriousness of the issues,” Ms Massina said.

The Survey reveals the three most serious barriers to investment in property: 59.7 per
cent of respondents view domestic economic conditions as an impediment, 59.7 per
cent identify the state political environment, and 29.2 per cent indicate planning

The Survey shows 78.9 per cent of Tasmanian respondents believe the State
Government is doing a poor job at planning and managing growth.

“Enough is enough. The time for action is now, before the industry and the 40,000
Tasmanians who directly or indirectly rely on the property industry for jobs, are forced
to shut up shop,” Ms Massina said.

Mary Massina Property Council of Australia TAS Executive Director. Paul Braddick ANZ Head of Property Research