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Tuesday 22 January 2019

Who got the moolah (game-changing housing market implications!)

Pay packets

The ABS released its biennial figures for employee earnings today.

As well documented here and elsewhere, it's been a slow period for earnings growth since the end of Australia's resources construction boom. 

Still, full time total cash earnings were up by about 5 per cent over the two years to May 2018, and part time total cash earnings were also up by about 5 per cent.

Steady. Unspectacular. 

Source: ABS

The highest earners tend to be in the 45 to 54 cohort, followed by the 35 to 44 cohort.

Source: ABS

Mining remains the highest paid industry, of course, while many energy and waste, financial, insurance, IT, tech, and telco roles tend to be relatively well paid. 

Source: ABS

Pay disparity

The top quarter of earners in Australia received more than $1,686 per week, while the lowest earning quarter received less than $682 per week, according to the ABS report. 

The lowest paid states continued to be the southern states of Tasmania and South Australia.

The ABS noted that as at May 2018 managers and professionals had the highest average hourly earnings, at $60.40 and $54.00 per hour respectively. 

Only 23 per cent of employees were paid according to an award, with collective and individual arrangements now far more commonplace. 

Major housing market implications

Many of the pre-existing trends and implications for housing markets remain much the same, then. 

But could there be any game-changing trends ahead?

Indeed there could. 

One forthcoming seismic shift, and a fine exclusive reported by Ingrid Fuary-Wagner the AFR this week, is the rising influence of the so-termed 'FAANGs' - the behemoth global technology and media businesses set to take on massive commercial leases in Australia.

Commonwealth Bank had already announced that it would relocate some 10,000 of its staff away from Parramatta to Mirvac's billion-dollar Australian Technology Park at inner-city Eveleigh, which represented a landmark pendulum shift back towards central Sydney's A-grade commercial stock.

Source: Mirvac

But even such a huge move as this is set to be dwarfed by the great tech trends in the years ahead. 

FAANGs set to bite

The AFR reported that Amazon Australia is expected to muscle into new headquarters at 2 Market Street close to Darling Harbour in the city of Sydney, in doing so doubling its total floor space in Sydney to some 40,000 square metres. 

Google, meanwhile, is set to create an even greater Sydney footprint still, with a massive 50,000 square metres of space across several buildings across the drink at inner-city Pyrmont, effectively transforming the suburb into a Google playground. 

Apple has already established itself on George Street, representing a third tech giant to take on space close to our office at Martin Place - four if you count Tesla, I suppose - while Apple also has a store on Queen Street in the CBD of Brisbane. 

The world's largest and most highly valued technology giants are evidently committed to Sydney's A-grade locations and commercial space, then.

All of which suggests to me that suburbs with the strongest walkability or connectivity to these hubs will see increasing demand for housing from the higher income-earning professionals of tomorrow: Pyrmont itself, Glebe, Alexandria/Erskineville, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Paddington, Bondi Junction, Randwick and a select handful of key connection suburbs on the lower north shore. 

Sydney has experienced tremendous employment growth of late, while much of the multi-unit supply through this cycle has been delivered in LGAs such as Blacktown, Parramatta, the Hills District, Liverpool, Camden, Penrith, Hornsby, and Bankstown. 

The aforementioned AFR piece noted that in Palo Alto, where several tech giants shifted their offices in Silicon Valley, median property prices steepled by almost 150 per cent since about A$4.5 million.