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The month in review: Regional SA
By Herron Todd White
In recent years, the property market within Mount Gambier has been relatively steady, which can be seen from the graph below. House sales in 2016 were slightly higher than they were in 2014 and 2015; however, there have been no major increases in sales volumes over the past three years. House sales are higher than the period from 2010 to 2013. Unit sales in Mount Gambier have been increasing significantly over the past three years, with unit sales in 2016 being almost twice as high as they were in 2014.
In Mount Gambier, one of the main factors that impacts the strength of the market is employment. Considering the market within the region has been relatively stable in the past three years, we believe that growth in employment would help to improve the market further. The forestry sector is the largest employer in the south-east region, with nearly 3,500 directly employed and more than 9,000 people indirectly employed. This equates to around 35% of employment for the region. The local newspaper, The Border Watch, recently reported that ‘approximately 150 enterprises rely on the sector with around $581 million in wages flowing into the community. In the last three years harvesting levels have doubled and a survey of local contractors indicated that the forest and harvesting and haulage industry will require more than 500 new employees by the end of 2017.’ Any outside investment that stimulates job growth will also help to improve the market.
While growth in employment is likely to improve the strength of the market, a large number of job cuts within the region would cause the market to slow down. A rise in interest rates would also have a contributing factor.
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