Leading national law practice Colin Biggers & Paisley explored this very question at its inaugural Property Think Tank in Sydney recently.

Property Think Tank is a series of networking events developed by organisations with a common interest in supporting the Australian property market. It brings together industry leaders in an exclusive forum to grow their networks and promote innovative ideas and opportunities.

The property industry is not only one of the biggest industries in the Australian economy, it is also employs 1.4 million people. This contribution cannot be underestimated, nor can the number of factors at play in both the national and international economies that contribute to the outlook for the economy and for the property industry.

Bill Evans, Chief Economist for Westpac discussed the impact on the housing and construction cycle. In particular, the approvals for high rise developments,

"We're expecting approvals for high rise developments will fall a further 16% by the end of 2019 and approvals for all dwellings to be down 6% overall," Bill said.

Similarly, house and unit prices in Sydney are almost certain to fall further over the next eighteen months. The shortages that emerged over a long period in which supply failed to keep up with strong population driven demand  has dissipated significantly over the last 2½ years. 

At the same time the impact of the consumer and house building activity on the wider economy should not be underestimated,

"The consumer is 65% of the economy. If the consumer is in good shape  then the economy will be in good shape." Bill said. 

At the moment, growth in consumer spending is tracking at a 2½-2¾% annual pace,  well below the historical average or around 3¼%.

To continue this conversation, Colin Biggers & Paisleys' property and development partners Rhett Oliver and Duane Keighran established a 'Property Think Tank' LinkedIn group. The forum will deliver the latest updates, information and insights on relevant property matters as well as be an avenue to discuss and learn about changes to the legal framework and network with others in the industry.

Colin Biggers & Paisley would like to thank CBRE, Hutchinson Builders, Mitchell Brandtman, SSKB and Westpac for partnering with them on this event.

The legal practice looks forward to hosting this year's final Property Think Tank in October in Brisbane.

For more information please contact Linda Branton on 02 8281 4594 or linda.branton@cbp.com.au.

About Colin Biggers & Paisley

Colin Biggers & Paisley was founded over a century ago. Today we are a legal practice with 68 partners and 470 employees. We are highly regarded for our expertise in construction, insurance, property, government, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, banking and finance, corporate and commercial, employment and safety, planning and environment, restructuring and insolvency, transport and logistics. We act for major corporations, financial institutions, insurance companies, government departments and individuals. We have both the capacity and the expertise to deliver on complex national and multinational projects.

Colin Biggers & Paisley is based in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, with associated firms in Adelaide and Perth. Through our affiliation with ADVOC Asia, ADVOC International, ADVOC Europe and ADVOC Latin America, as well as our close association with Dubai law firm LutfiCBP, we are able to offer access to quality legal advice around the globe.

We launched the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation in 2015, with a core focus on promoting and protecting the rights of women and children in Australia and abroad through an innovative mix of pro bono legal services, volunteering and charitable contributions.

This is commentary published by Colin Biggers & Paisley for general information purposes only. This should not be relied on as specific advice. You should seek your own legal and other advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any final decision. The content also is subject to change. A person listed may not be admitted as a lawyer in all States and Territories. © Colin Biggers & Paisley, Australia 2023.

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