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April - June 2016

Looking firstly at New South Wales’ active property market, skilled and experienced property professionals are in high demand but they are very selective in the roles they will consider. With employers so far unwilling to increase salaries or benefits in order to stand out and attract the top talent, there is a stale mate at present between employers and candidates.

Employers are also reluctant to sponsor overseas applicants, which compounds the shortage of good candidates in the state.

In the Australian Capital Territory new apartment blocks are being built and there has been an increase in recent commercial property sales as well as changes of owners/newly appointed agencies. Two large federal government contracts have also been announced in addition to a change of service providers. All this is reflective of a buoyant ACT market that is creating new opportunities and movement in the property market.

In Queensland, the first quarter of 2016 was quieter than the previous quarter in client-side project management and development management. However PQS firms are increasingly busy with specialist work in capital gains tax valuations, stamp duty valuations and insurance replacement costing.

We are also seeing a big focus on recruiting development staff with bilingual skills, especially Cantonese and Mandarin, given the amount of investment coming from China.

Turning to South Australia, the construction of residential development projects in Adelaide continues with many new apartments and new homes delivered to the market. This is creating demand for residential project sales staff. But with a shortage of candidates in Adelaide with experience selling higher densities off-plan, employers are turning to other states for suitable candidates.

With a number of larger developers looking for sales managers, high numbers of inadequately skilled candidates are applying for roles. It’s a similar situation for employers recruiting residential property managers.

The South Australian State Government is starting to hire again following a couple of years of downsizing and restructuring. Candidates in demand are those who have commercial property acumen, combined with the ability to understand specific needs in a variety of sectors.

In Western Australia the majority of vacancy activity is for permanent positions in sales and leasing across both the residential and commercial markets. Growing office vacancy in Perth’s CBD ensures that leasing candidates with strong local contacts are highly sought after. The market is reasonably positive, although candidate levels are low. The majority of sales roles are commission only, without a base salary component.

We have also seen an increase in psychometric testing for candidates in Western Australia.

Turning to the Northern Territory, employers prefer to recruit on a permanent or contract basis rather than temporary. As housing prices stabilise in Darwin, employers are not creating new roles. In areas of local skill shortages employers are happy to look at interstate candidates and will consider sponsoring overseas candidates.

Skills in demand

Residential Salespeople - Experienced residential sales staff are in continuously high demand.

Off-Plan Residential Salespeople - Following a surge of developments, particularly in Adelaide’s CBD, Queensland and New South Wales, experienced candidates are in high demand but short supply. In Adelaide, many experienced sales staff choose to work on developments in the suburbs rather than CBD. In Queensland and New South Wales employers look for candidates with additional language skills to work with overseas buyers, especially Cantonese and Mandarin.

Commercial Sales Professionals – Commercial Salespeople are needed too, yet there is a shortage of experienced sales professionals in this area.

Residential Property Managers – This is a demanding role and turnover is high. Add the drive by many real estate agencies to grow their property management portfolios and Residential Property Managers are in high demand.

Commercial Property Managers – Demand also exists for experienced Commercial Property Managers in Queensland, New South Wales and ACT.

Valuers – Qualified Valuers remain in short supply.

Strata Managers – Demand is increasing for Strata Managers across all capital cities, which is reflective of the buoyant high density residential market and an increase in the government’s appetite for urban renewal.

Senior Quantity Surveyors – Candidates with tax depreciation experience are sought in Queensland.

Candidate trends

The property market is very short of experienced candidates and very rich in candidates without specific experience in property.

Suitably skilled and experienced candidates are aware of the demand for their skills. They are therefore very selective in the companies they will interview for. It is very much a candidate led market.

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