This one is specifically for my Canberran friends – don’t buy a property in the ACT for the next year or so. I predict that the ACT economy will tank and with it house prices will plummet.
For the benefit of the rest of the country, the workforce in Canberra is made up of a large amount of federal public servants (yeah, we know that the average Aussie hates public servants) as well as those in the private sector who support them. That means there are a lot of tradies, solicitors, shop assistants and even teachers whose jobs are reliant upon the income generated from what those public servants spend. When public servant numbers are cut, and I mean in a big way, it will force thousands of families out of the ACT to find work in other states.
How can I be so sure, I hear you say? Because it’s happened before.
When the Howard government was elected in 1996 they cut huge chunks out of the public service. Thousands of people lost their jobs and left, whacking their homes on the market. Canberra was awash with houses and units for sale and it brought prices crashing down. With the new Abbott government looking at cutting large numbers of the ACT’s workforce, the scene is set for a repeat of the recession we suffered after ’96.
I expect average Canberra house prices to fall by anything between $50,000 – $130,000 peaking in around 12 – 15 months. For first home buyers it is really important that you don’t spend any more than you absolutely have to, so if you want your fist home to be in the nation’s capital, wait. If you already own here and are looking to sell, get your act together fast.
I had hoped that the possible influx of same sex couples wishing to marry in the only jurisdiction in the country that allows it might counteract the worst of the cuts, but today’s High Court decision has quashed that chance.