Well this year there is plenty to think about, and you must be careful with what you read and hear. If I was to believe everything that has been said in the past 6 to 12 months, I would think we are in the middle of a Real Estate Armageddon! Sure, there is not the fervour in the Melbourne and Sydney markets that there has been, but a correction was more than due. Here in Cairns 2018 was pretty much more of the same. I suspect that that is what 2019 will also bring, but there are some factors that have the potential to have great influence.
We will have a federal election. Normally the Real Estate market goes on hold with a coming election, State or Federal. I do not expect that will be any different this year, but the outcome may mean a continued period of uncertainty. If the labour party wins proposed changes to negative gearing and trust taxation could have a very negative impact on the investor market.
The state government is looking at completing its legislation on minimum standards of rental accommodation with the Building better futures legislation amendments to the Residential Tenancies & Rooming Accommodation act. The legislation has been passed but the detail is in the Regulations that are still to be finalised. Commentary from the Government would indicate that they are looking closely at the Victorian model, this would be mistake.
Having said all that, our local economy is still showing resilience and the list of projects underway and to start is strong. Projects like the Inlet dredging have potential to increase our productivity. Data from Herron Todd White shows Employment figures are up and unemployment down, this is good news for our region and our market.
The other thing to consider at this time of year is what are my goals for the year in Real Estate.
If you are an investor don’t forget the changed rules for smoke alarms. The new legislation introduced in 2017 gives you until January 1 2022 to have the new smoke alarms installed. Do not leave this until the last minute as there will be an inevitable last-minute rush and therefore a delay. Properties will not be able to be relet after that date if not compliant to the new laws.
If you are going to sell. Start planning early. Get the little repairs done, get the painting done and set the garden up for when you want to sell. In other words, prune to give time for your garden to reshoot and look at its best. Get the lawn looking great, remember first impressions count.
All in all, I expect we will have another busy year in real estate and we wish you well for 2019.