The last time we checked in with the real estate sector was in February. Australia was in the middle of significant housing slump and no end was in sight.

We predicted the only winners would be property developers.

Also, the royal commission was drawing to a close and Justice Hayne recommended mortgage broking switch to a user-pays model. Mortgage brokers panicked.

But four and a half months later, the landscape has changed. The mortgage broker fuse was quickly extinguished when both the government and the opposition promised existing commission structures would remain.

The Morrison government was re-elected and one commonly attributed reason is Labor’s proposed changes to property taxation. Real estate lobbyists and analysts declared this was the uptick the market needed.

On top of this, the Reserve Bank cut interest rates to record lows at its recent meeting and indications suggest they will go lower before they go higher.

Performance

Even with the purported upswing in the property market the broad picture is the same. There are few winners and the majority of them are in property development.

Code Name Price 24 June Market Cap 1 Year Return (%) 1 Month Return (%) Industry Role
AGJ AGRICULTURAL LAND TRUST 0.02 2159262.2172 -6 3 Investor
APW AIMS PROPERTY SECURITIES FUN 0.99 44246339.8012 -12 -5 Fund
APZ ASPEN GROUP 0.71 67584160.6444 13 5 Holiday Park operator
AU1 AGENCY GROUP AUSTRALIA LTD 0.06 6465289.3052 -71 -7 Agency Group
AVJ AVJENNINGS LTD 0.38 163044759.579 -18 -5 Developer
AXI AXIOM PROPERTIES LTD 0.02 10779762.4257 -10 -3 Developer
BHL BOYUAN HOLDINGS LTD 0.14 47489206.6773 -62 18 Developer
BWR BLACKWALL PROPERTY TRUST 0.90 134632768.671 -1 -5 Trust
DGH DESANE GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 0.90 37085723.3883 24 1 Developer & Investor
DVN DEVINE LTD 0.09 14828608.5891 -59 -3 Real Estate Agent
EGH EUREKA GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 0.18 41388368.8453 -4 -2 Developer
ERF ELANOR RETAIL PROPERTY FUND 0.86 107787997.154 5 4 Fund
FE8 FASTER ENTERPRISES LTD 0.011 1227723.2546 -50 14 Developer
FRI FINBAR GROUP LTD 0.59 160062826.517 -4 1 Developer
GDF GARDA DIVERSIFIED PROP FUND 0.97 153501116.703 24 -1 Fund
HGL HUDSON INVESTMENT GROUP 0.329 19716972.5104 26 -4 Developer
IBN IBUYNEW GROUP LTD 0.013 316703.194 -93 -13 Agent
KLO KINGSLAND GLOBAL LTD-CDI 0.057 22981319.0657 -39 -10 Developer
LHB LIONHUB GROUP LTD 0.004 2859170.0188 -91 -29 Developer
LHM LAND & HOMES GROUP LTD 0.008 8714127.9777 -52 -14 Developer
LMW LANDMARK WHITE LTD 0.13 10604304.4489 -64 -35 Valuation consultants
MEA MCGRATH LTD 0.17 29052326.1629 -38 0 Agent
QPR QUATTRO PLUS REAL ESTATE 0.65 38239616.7334 217 0 Trust
RPG RAPTIS GROUP LTD 0.034 7403686.939 -30 -30 Trust
SDG SUNLAND GROUP LTD 1.22 175601171.037 4 6 Developer
SRV SERVCORP LTD 2.61 246552548.184 -3 15 Serviced Offices
SSL SIETEL LTD 4.93 39896416.906 6 13 Investor
TGP 360 CAPITAL GROUP LTD 0.68 157367403.586 5 -1 Investor
TIA TIAN AN AUSTRALIA LTD 0.29 25171988.9126 -38 0 Developer
URF US MASTERS RESIDENTIAL PROPE 0.591 216429335.457 -41 -17 Developer
UUL ULTIMA UNITED LTD 0.016 466748.618 -69 -12 Developer
VLW VILLA WORLD LTD 1.53 187945132.967 11 -1 Developer
VP7 VELOCITY PROPERTY GROUP LTD 0.021 7513490.0345 -40 0 Developer

Of course these are not all of the property businesses in Australia. But it begs the question as to whether whether the talk about the property market rebounding after Morrison’s win was hype.

Stockhead spoke with LJ Hooker’s head of research Mat Tiller and he said LJ Hooker was noticing interest in the market and conditions were now ideal for buyers. However, he suggested we should wait until the traditional spring vending season to see if the election result has really boosted the market.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase in buyer inquiries since the election. And the changes to APRA’s regulations of banking and interest rate cuts lifts buyers’ confidence,” he said.

“But one thing that is limiting transaction is a lack of listings on the market for sale. While inquiries have lifted, I think vendors just want to see whether it’s a trend or a short term thing and they’re more preparing their homes to list in the spring-selling periods.”

What more needs to be done?

While negative tax changes going off the table is good thing and future interest rate cuts could be, some industry leaders have suggested not only should the government avoid harm but take proactive steps to help the industry. Damian Collin, the president of Perth-based advocacy group REIWA, is one of them.

“The WA property market is crying out for some definitive leadership to help aid recovery and improve our local economy. Regardless of whether the responsibility for this change comes at a state or federal level, we need action now,” he said.

One suggestion Collins made was including Perth in the Regional Migration Scheme so the city could attract skilled workers.

Mat Tiller agreed this could be a potential solution to relieve prices on the major capital cities and boost property markets in struggling regions. However, this could not happen unconditionally.

“Definitely decentralisation policy helps relieve pressures on capital city markets,” he said.

“But what needs to happen is an increase in infrastructure spending, not just transport but health, education and social infrastructure as well.”