THE Cairns economy is continuing its run of “positive signals” (Source: The Cairns Post October 2, 2015)
In his latest CairnsWatch report, Herron Todd White research director Rick Carr said the economy was gathering pace with busy tourism numbers, more people in work and a rising property sector.
“Combined with anecdotal reports of a busy peak tourist season this year, conditions are indicating growing economic momentum,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Terry James said the city’s economy was “steady as she goes” and he expected the economy to step up in the next two to three months. He said council building approvals were up 10 per cent on the previous 12 months and development applications by five per cent.
Cr James said the numbers were consistent with the last strong year of 2009-10.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive Alex de Waal said the sector was basking in the fine trend.
“Tropical North Queensland is very busy at present, with not one seat available to visit the Reef yesterday and accommodation bursting at the seams,” he said yesterday.
Mr Carr said about 109,000 people were in work last month.
“In our estimation, the Cairns regional employment trend remained static at 109,300 persons employed in August 2015, but has still grown 3.6 per cent since January 2015,” he said.
He said the unemployment trend was 8.2 per cent in August, “still well above the state and national averages”.
“The trend unemployment rate has also been influenced in recent months by the improving economy, encouraging extra people to look for work,” he said.
Mr Carr said Cairns Airport had its busiest August ever.
“While the passenger trend at the domestic terminal is not as technically strong as it was earlier this year, passenger numbers at the international terminal continue to build strongly with a trend increase of 20.5 per cent evident since August last year,” he said.
Mr Carr said property sale volumes had started to taper from the screws being tightened on investment loan eligibility as well as some buyer resistance to asking prices.
“This has resulted in mildly softening trends in house and unit sale volumes, and a slowdown in land sales,” he said.
Mr Carr said building approvals were topsy-turvy.
“The upshot is that, even though the building approvals trend is softening, there is still year-on-year growth,” he said.
“The expectation for the coming year is for building approvals to continue generally increasing as economic confidence continues to strengthen.”
Full details of the HTW Cairns Watch September report can be found here, or if you’d like the shorter version just relevant to property, check out my 3.31 minute YouTube clip below.
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Jason Thomson | Finance Broker and Mortgage Adviser | Smartline Cairns