October message from Michael Tilt, CEO

It may sound strange, but the next ‘big thing’ for those of us in the property business is "mobility". While we spend time on bricks and mortar - land and buildings that stay put - the new world of mobility promised by automated vehicles (AVs) is going to have a huge impact on what we do.  And it will transform Australia.

Brian Haratsis looks at how AVs will transform Australia within the next decade and why it is critical to plan for the momentous changes upon us in his latest book - Autropolis: The Diverse Mobility Revolution.  He’ll be launching the book on November 22 and I encourage you to book tickets (click here to book) and be the first to hear all about it.

The coming month is a busy one for Brian.  On the 10th, he’ll be the keynote speaker at the Property Council’s Hunter Lunch where he’ll explain how Greater Newcastle can stop its ‘brain drain’ by becoming a liveable metropolitan city attracting global talent. A 20-year blueprint ensures that homes, jobs and infrastructure are delivered in the right locations.

If the Newcastle region, with a population of over half a million, is facing challenges, what about the prospects for our smaller regional centres? At the Big Cities vs Regions conference on November 26, Brian discussed how globalisation and technology in the service sector are concentrating development and jobs in capital cities.  The regions have been the big losers and the trend is likely to continue without major policy intervention.

The centralising trend raises problems for the big cities too, which will become increasingly uneconomic because of their unwieldy size.  A recent poll conducted for Fairfax Media showed that more than two-thirds of people believe Sydney has reached full capacity and property development should be moved to the fringes.

On the back of this poll came two other interesting news stories in the past week.  The first from the Productivity Commission, whose five-year review, ‘Shifting the Dial’, acknowledges that our cities are a major driver of economic growth.  But they have to be well planned.  As the Commission noted, better functioning cities can provide a $29 billion increase in GDP, through such improvements as reduced congestion and increased employment.

Also concerned with better city functioning is the Greater Sydney Commission, which just released  drafts of its Region and District Plans, and Transport Strategy.  The breadth and detail of the plans acknowledge the importance of integrating planning for social and transport infrastructure with land and property development.  Get in touch if you would like a briefing.

From Queensland comes advice that the Valuer-General won’t be issuing new valuations for Brisbane in March 2018.  As Logan, Ipswich and Moreton Bay will also be off next year’s list, it means that less than 30% of Queensland’s rateable properties will receive new valuations in 2018.  Let's also not forget that Queensland also goes to the polls next month in an election tipped to be fought and won on a seat by seat basis.

Spurred by the successful selling of a large tranche of his Brisbane FV high-rise project, developer Tim Gurner claims that the Brisbane market is much more buoyant than many critics claim.  He says talk of an oversupply is grossly overstated and quality apartments are selling and leasing well.

In just a couple of days, we’ll know the final field for the Melbourne Cup.  Whichever horse you end up backing or drawing in the office sweep, I hope you manage to celebrate the actual race day with colleagues and enjoy a couple of hours away from the usual work day.  That way, we’re all winners!

Michael Tilt