The property sector will be the driver to a healthy economy in 2012

WBP Property Group, the national property services firm, this morning held the property industry’s premier Property Outlook breakfast with discussions and positive forecasts on Australia’s property future.

Macquarie economist Brian Redican and property commentator and CEO of WBP Property Group, Greville Pabst discussed the recent surge in market activity that is expected to increase in 2012 and the pivotal role this will play in Australia’s financial future.

Trend forecaster Bernard Salt, discussed the impacts of demographic change on the Melbourne property market and answered the question of what happens when the boomers bust and Xers and Ys inherit the earth.

Salt forecasts new lifestyles, new ethnicities and new social behaviors as likely drivers of demand for well-positioned investment property in Melbourne’s inner and middle ring suburbs. “Melbourne has closed the gap on Sydney and will continue to offer stronger growth potential over the next decade,” said Salt.

Pabst agrees, “You can see why Melbourne was voted one of the world’s most livable cities last year. The city has experienced the second largest growth of all Australian Capitals in the past five years at 7.6%.” Pabst revealed investment opportunities in Melbourne and micro-level advice on how to approach buying in the existing market. “2011 was a watershed year and 2012 and beyond will be a different ball game when it comes to investing in property” argued Pabst.

Pabst also shared his views on rental growth and warned of issues for investors in the next decade, “rents for housing have increased 10% in Melbourne. Yields will stay fairly consistent as property prices and rents track similar growth in 2012. In units, rents are not growing as fast because there is an increase in stock. In fact, we will see an oversupply of new high-rise apartments in the next decade. In this sector vacancy rates will increase dramatically and this is why we steer our clients away from this type of high risk investment.”

Pabst referenced the resilience of the established house and unit market, stating that, “Melbourne has a chronic undersupply of investment-grade property. At any one time only 5% of the properties on the market are of investment-grade and, subsequently, have continued to show growth in the current market.” This is a major opportunity for smart investors,” said Pabst.

About the event
The Property Outlook breakfast was hosted by WBP at the Grand Hyatt on Collins St in Melbourne. Property Outlook provided delegates with a performance forecast of the Melbourne property markets for 2012, examined the influences of macro and micro factors, the fragile and strong components of the current market, and highlighted the urban and regional performers for investors to watch closely.

About WBP Property Group
Multi-award winning WBP Property Group is an independently owned and operated national property valuation, advisory and management company. WBP offers a complete range of specialised property services through its branch offices in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

Established in 1992, WBP is built on a solid foundation of extensive market knowledge, superior customer service and industry-leading technology and has a reputation for providing clients with objective and impartial valuation services.

WBP is led by CEO Greville Pabst FAPI, FRICS and Director Patrick Brady AAPI, MRICS, Dip. Ed, and supported by executive and management teams in addition to over 100 valuers, property advisors, property managers, marketing, IT and administrative professionals.