The year began with a series of by now familiar economic challenges in the form of sluggish growth and trade tensions between the US and China, and also the environmental challenge of widespread bushfires. Despite this framing, the outlook for property markets seemed bright as the market continued to respond positively to low interest rates and the weight of private and institutional capital seeking to be deployed.
But the advent of COVID-19 has upended the proverbial apple cart. Focus on the long-term challenge of weak productivity growth globally and locally has given way to the more pressing and immediate need to minimise the health and economic impact of the pandemic. Similarly, for many in property the focus for 2020 quickly shifted from identifying opportunities for future growth to managing existing assets and risks to income during a tumultuous period.
While the near-term focus is only to be expected, the lived experience of recent months has raised new questions for the future. Out of huge disruption across all aspects of life have come new perspectives, new opportunities and the hope that we can take the lessons of this time to adapt for the better.
Our Outlook Report this year seeks to identify these trends and the way in which they will influence our cities, our workplaces and our lifestyle choices over the coming years. Eachdimension has important implications for property and hence the way in which our industry will contribute to change and reinvention right across the Australian community.