Top 5: Finance & property quotes week commencing January 5

By the resi financial blog team, 12 January 2015

Top 5: Finance & property quotes week commencing January 5

Although 2014 rounded out to be a good year for the property and finance markets with sustained periods of growth and recovery, 2015 is shaping up to be a more productive year all round. Government investment in better infrastructure is supporting local businesses as well as the efficacy of national industry and the economy. The construction industry, which saw increases in activity and approvals throughout the year, contracted sharply towards the end, but is forecast to grow in strength this year.

#1. The Australian Industry Group and the Housing Industry Association (HIA) released their joint Australian Performance of Construction Index on January 9. The results showed a sharp contraction across the industry after months of stability and growth.

"Recovery in the construction industry was looking very promising through the middle of 2014, particularly in the housing and apartment sectors. In the final months of 2014 however, this much anticipated recovery seems to have lost its momentum; we saw a noticeable deterioration across most of the key activity indicators for house building and apartment construction in November and December," said Ai Group Chief Economist, Julie Toth.

#2. While construction may have slowed down towards the end of the year, approvals soared in November, reaching the highest level on record according to the HIA. This could mean a quick rise in productivity for the sector as those projects are completed this year.

"Residential construction was the economy's good news story during 2014, and today's figures indicate that we can look forward to another positive year for the industry," said Shane Garrett, HIA senior economist, in a January 8 statement.

"The fact that approvals hit an all-time high during November augurs very well for the pipeline of residential construction work in 2015."

#3. Bankstown Airport has set a new strategic direction, which will complement the plan for growth in the Sydney region and NSW. The master plan replaces the one issued in 2005.

"The Master Plan sets out Bankstown Airport's strategic direction for the next 20 years and provides information for the community about site operations and future development," said Warren Truss, deputy prime minister and minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, in a January 5 media release.

#4. The focus on infrastructure and supporting regional areas is not limited to NSW, with the South Australian and the Australian government banding together to kick start a new section of the North-South Corridor.

"These vital upgrades will support the $896 million Torrens to Torrens Project which will slash travel times for motorists, boost freight efficiency and create hundreds of new local jobs" said Assistant Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Jamie Briggs on January 9.

"This is another example of two governments delivering on our shared plan to create new jobs and grow the South Australian economy so everyone can prosper."

#5. On the international scale, the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement is set to come into force on January 15 this year. An immediate tariff cut will benefit Australian exporters, with further reductions to follow.

On January 6 the Chair of the Australia-Japan Foundation, Mr Murray McLean AO said:

"Australia and Japan enjoy a partnership of tremendous closeness that has both economic and strategic importance.  This agreement will provide major market access gains for Australian exporters and signal a significant elevation in the remarkable and long-standing commercial relationship between Australia and Japan."

Categories: Business Owners