CairnsWatch. March Level 1, 95 Sheridan Street Cairns Qld 4870 PO Box 6843 Cairns Qld 4870

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1 Watch March 2017 Cairns

2 OVERVIEW AT A GLANCE The Cairns economy continues to muddle along, with no real directional changes evident over the last month. Tourism and employment indicators remain positive, but job advertising, property and construction indicators are still lagging. Our special topic this month highlights a slowly increasing population growth rate, which we predict to continue increasing over the next two years. Airport Passenger Trend: 0.6% (February 2016 to February 2017) Employment Trend: 8,100 (February 2016 to February 2017) Building Approvals Trend: 57.8% (January 2016 to January 2017) Population Growth Rate: to 1.1% (30 June 2015 to 30 June 2016) If this CairnsWatch bulletin has been forwarded to you from someone else and you would prefer to receive it direct each month, add your name and address here it s simple and it s free! The Fine Print: Information in this publication is based on an analysis of data from a number of sources, subjected to technical procedures of seasonal adjustment and trend analysis. Seasonal adjustment is a means of removing the effects of normal seasonal variation from the data, so that comparisons can be made of data against their established seasonal patterns. Trend analysis smooths the seasonally adjusted estimates to provide a clearer picture of the underlying behaviour of the series over time. The trend estimates are derived by applying a 13- term Henderson-weighted moving average to the seasonally adjusted data. It applies the same procedures used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in producing trends for national aggregates. Rick Carr Research Director Herron Todd White Cairns Phone: Fax: No responsibility is accepted to any third party that may use or rely on the whole or any part of the content of this publication. Neither the whole nor any part of this publication or any reference thereto may be included in any published or photocopied documents, circular or statement, nor transmitted or published in part or full in any way, including electronically, without written approval of the form and context in which it may appear. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. The scheme does not apply within Tasmania HTW Copyright 2017 CairnsWatch March

3 EMPLOYMENT AND DEMOGRAPHY Persons Employed in the Cairns Region Number of Persons Employed (Log Scale) 130,000 Cairns Region Unemployment Rate Unemployment Rate (Actual and Trend Basis) 12% Actual Trend Cairns Region All Queensland 10% 120,000 8% 110,000 6% 4% 100,000 Feb-07 Feb-08 Feb-09 Feb-10 Feb-11 Feb-12 Feb-13 Feb-14 Feb-15 Feb-16 Feb-17 Aug-07 Aug-08 Aug-09 Aug-10 Aug-11 Aug-12 Aug-13 Aug-14 Aug-15 Aug-16 Source: Derived from ABS Labour Force Survey data ABS headline figures for the Cairns Region (inclusive of Cairns, the Cassowary Coast, Douglas and the Tablelands) give an estimate of 113,000 persons employed during February 2017, compared to a headline estimate of 115,900 persons employed during January Despite the headline reduction, employment continues to grow when analysed in more reliable trend terms. Employment grew to reach a seasonally adjusted trend level of 117,500 persons employed in February 2017, up 8,100 since February N.B. The ABS Labour Force figures are estimates derived from a sample survey of only about 500 Cairns Region residents, and hence are subject to a potentially large margin of error. Neither the headline nor the trend estimates should be interpreted as precise values. 2% Feb-07 Feb-08 Feb-09 Feb-10 Feb-11 Feb-12 Feb-13 Feb-14 Feb-15 Feb-16 Feb-17 Aug-07 Aug-08 Aug-09 Aug-10 Aug-11 Aug-12 Aug-13 Aug-14 Aug-15 Aug-16 Source: Derived from ABS Labour Force Survey data The Cairns Region s notoriously volatile headline unemployment rate came in at 9.6% in February 2017, compared to 6.0% in January 2017 and a high of 11.0% in May When analysed in trend terms, the region s unemployment rate has started increasing again, as previously discouraged jobseekers come back to look for work. We estimate a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate trend of 6.1% in February 2017, which is significantly below its February 2016 trend level of 8.0% and is back below the State average of 6.4%. N.B. To be counted as unemployed in the ABS Labour Force survey you need to not have a job and be actively seeking work. People who do not have a job and are not actively seeking work are not counted as unemployed, they are regarded as not in the labour force. CairnsWatch March

4 EMPLOYMENT AND DEMOGRAPHY Cairns Job Ads Monthly Average Jobs Advertised 1,000 Actual Trend Herron Todd T White does Property Valuations Herron Todd White Cairns has a wealth of experience in providing valuation services across the tourism, commercial, industrial, rural and residential property sectors. From residential units and townhouses to specialist valuations, acquisitions and resumption, Herron Todd White Cairns team of specialist staff provides valuations across all property types. 0 Aug-13 Dec-13 Apr-14 Aug-14 Dec-14 Apr-15 Aug-15 Dec-15 Apr-16 Aug-16 Dec-16 Oct-13 Feb-14 Jun-14 Oct-14 Feb-15 Jun-15 Oct-15 Feb-16 Jun-16 Oct-16 Feb-17 Source: HTW Analysis of Employment Websites The trend in the number of jobs being advertised on employment websites for the Cairns and Far North region has tapered from the highs achieved in mid 2016, and now appears to have steadied. The trend in the number of jobs advertised in February 2017 was 3.4% lower than it was in February CairnsWatch March

5 EMPLOYMENT AND DEMOGRAPHY Special Topic: Population Growth Rate of Growth %pa 6.5% Actual HTW Forecast Long Term Average Herron Todd White does Socio-Economic Research 4.3% 4.0% 4.0% 3.4% 3.3% 2.6% 2.4% 0.0% 3.4% 4.8% 4.6% 4.4% 3.8% 1.5% 1.3% 0.8% 0.6% 0.3% 1.7% 2.7%2.7% 3.2% 3.7% 3.4% 3.9% 3.4% 2.1% 1.5% 2.1% 1.9% 1.3% 1.0% 1.1%1.2% 2.7% 1.4% Herron Todd White Cairns carries out specialist project consulting assignments in all areas of socio-economic research, including demographic studies, statistical surveys, market research, strategy planning, cost benefit studies, and socio-economic impact assessment Contact us today to discuss your requirements Year to June Source: ABS, HTW Research Cairns (defined as the urban area from the Goldsborough Valley through to Ellis Beach) experienced lower than expected population growth of 1.1% over the 12 months to 30 June 2016, with its official resident population reaching 158,499 as at that date. Cairns population increase was slightly above the 1.0% population growth recorded in Townsville but below the 1.4% growth rate observed in Queensland as a whole. We expect the Cairns population growth rate to pick up over the next two years as a result of its reinvigorating economy. Our population model predicts that Cairns population will grow by about 1.2% in the 12 months to 30 June 2017, followed by about 1.4% growth in the 12 months to 30 June CairnsWatch March

6 , Cairns TOURISM Airport Passenger Numbers Monthly Passenger Arrivals + Departures (excl Transits) 420, , ,000 85,000 International Terminal Domestic Terminal Herron ron Todd White does Tourism Valuations Buying or selling a tourist property? Herron Todd White has valuers specialising in all forms of tourism related property including pubs, roadhouses, hostels and caravan parks, and the entire accommodation spectrum from small motels and serviced apartments through to large scale resorts. 50,000 30,000 Feb-07 Feb-08 Feb-09 Feb-10 Feb-11 Feb-12 Feb-13 Feb-14 Feb-15 Feb-16 Feb-17 Aug-07 Aug-08 Aug-09 Aug-10 Aug-11 Aug-12 Aug-13 Aug-14 Aug-15 Aug-16 Source: Derived from Cairns Airport data Passenger statistics at Cairns Airport during February 2017 were affected by the earlier Lunar New Year timing this year compared to last, as well as a shorter February this year compared to last (28 days instead of 29). Allowing for these factors, our trend calculations show that passenger numbers at the domestic terminal continue to increase, but their rate of annual growth in February 2017 slowed to 0.4%. Meanwhile passenger numbers at the international terminal reached an 8-year trend high during February 2017, but their rate of annual growth also slowed, to 1.7%. Passenger numbers overall grew in trend terms by 0.6% from February 2016 to February It appears that this year s Lunar New Year growth impact was nowhere near as strong as it was in CairnsWatch March

7 PROPERTY Property Prices Median Sale Price (Log Scale) Property Sales Number of Sales per Quarter $450,000 Houses 2,400 House Sales Unit Sales Land Sales Total (Trend) $320,000 1,800 $230,000 Units 1,200 $165,000 Vacant Land $120,000 Feb-07 Feb-08 Feb-09 Feb-10 Feb-11 Feb-12 Feb-13 Feb-14 Feb-15 Feb-16 Feb-17 Aug-07 Aug-08 Aug-09 Aug-10 Aug-11 Aug-12 Aug-13 Aug-14 Aug-15 Aug-16 * All sales are classified to date of contract (not date of settlement) ** Recent months are provisional and subject to revision Source: HTW Analysis of RPData The Cairns median house price trend has eased slightly over the past six months, with its February 2017 reading of $401,200 down 0.7% on August The median unit price trend has also reduced, with its February 2017 reading of $218,000 down 3.7% on August Meanwhile the median land price trend ended up at $201,700 in February 2017, down 6.3% compared August 2016 largely due to reduced numbers of upper market land sales Dec-06 Dec-07 Dec-08 Dec-09 Dec-10 Dec-11 Dec-12 Dec-13 Dec-14 Dec-15 Dec-16 Jun-07 Jun-08 Jun-09 Jun-10 Jun-11 Jun-12 Jun-13 Jun-14 Jun-15 Jun-16 Quarter Ended * All sales are classsified to the date of contract ** Recent quarters are provisional and subject to revision Source: HTW Analysis of RPData The real estate market has seen minimal change in overall property sale volumes over the latest twelve months, with the number of sales for the December quarter of 2016 up only mildly on the corresponding quarter of 2015, by 0.4% in trend terms. There was a 3.2% drop in the trend number of house sales over the period, offset by a 4.9% trend increase in unit sales and a 4.8% trend increase in land sales. N.B. The median property price is the actual sale price of the middle-priced property from the list of properties sold each month. Movements in median prices do not necessarily equate to movements in individual property values. CairnsWatch March

8 PROPERTY Rental Vacancies Percentage Vacancy 8% Houses Units Total Herron Todd White does Tax Depreciation Schedules 6% 4% 2% 'Balanced Market' Range Do you have an up-to-date tax depreciation schedule? You could be missing out on thousands of dollars each year in allowable depreciation for your investment property. Depreciation is an important part of maximising your investment returns from an income generating property. Contact us on for an obligation-free quote. 0% Feb-07 Feb-08 Feb-09 Feb-10 Feb-11 Feb-12 Feb-13 Feb-14 Feb-15 Feb-16 Feb-17 Aug-07 Aug-08 Aug-09 Aug-10 Aug-11 Aug-12 Aug-13 Aug-14 Aug-15 Aug-16 Source: HTW Rentroll Survey Rental vacancy trend rates have been reducing of late for units, but have been relatively steady for houses. Overall vacancies remain indicative of a tight rental supply. The latest trend rental vacancy rates for February 2017 stood at 1.8% for houses and 2.1% for units. The market vacancy trend overall stood at 1.9%. CairnsWatch March

9 PROPERTY Building Approvals Number of New Dwellings Approved in Cairns Urban Area Houses Units Total (Actual Trend) Herron Todd White does Rural Valuations Selling the farm? Herron Todd White has valuers specialising in agribusiness from cane farms to cattle properties and banana plantations Jan-13 Jul-13 Jan-14 Jul-14 Jan-15 Jul-15 Jan-16 Jul-16 Jan-17 Apr-13 Oct-13 Apr-14 Oct-14 Apr-15 Oct-15 Apr-16 Oct-16 Source: Derived from ABS data Building approval figures reported for the Cairns urban area have fallen away significantly over the past four months and are down to a 17-year low. In trend terms the January 2017 figures are 57.8% below those recorded in January CairnsWatch March

10 PROPERTY National Property Clock Coffs Harbour Newcastle NSW Central Coast NSW Far Nth Coast Herron Todd White does Townsville Market Information Gold Coast Ipswich Melbourne NSW Mid Nth Coast South East NSW Sunshine Coast Adelaide Adelaide Hills Ballarat Barossa Valley Bathurst Burnie-Devonport Cairns Canberra Echuca Hobart Launceston Orange SA Iron Triangle SA Riverland Sydney Tamworth Rising Market Approaching Peak of Market Peak of Market Starting to Decline Declining Market Bendigo Toowoomba Canberra Herron Todd White produces a quarterly publication of Townsville Market Information entitled Townsville in Focus. Like CairnsWatch, it is free of charge. For further enquiries or to subscribe, contact or call (07) Start of Recovery Approaching Bottom of Market Brisbane Emerald Horsham Mount Gambier Whitsunday Bundaberg Hervey Bay Mildura Warnnambool Bottom of Market Alice Springs Gippsland Perth Rockhampton Darwin Gladstone Mackay South West WA Townsville Entries coloured dark blue indicate positional changes from last month Source: Residential Property Ratings Compiled by Herron Todd White, February 2017 Herron Todd White s National Property Clock is prepared each month based on the local market perceptions of its Australia-wide network of offices. The Cairns market remains patchy, with some sectors showing rises but others seemingly in decline. Overall the market remains positioned at the Rising Market phase of the cycle, but only just. CairnsWatch March

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