AS I WRITE this, there is an undeniable sense of optimism across Australia. The pandemic may be far from over, but everywhere there are signs of a country emerging from hibernation: after 697 days, Western Australia has re-opened its border to domestic and international arrivals, and 95% of Australians over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated, making us one of the most vaccinated populations in the world.
Australia’s handling of the pandemic has its critics, but there’s no arguing that we are the envy of many in the world. Many see us as the lucky country. And now that our borders are once again open to international arrivals, there’s likely to be significant immigration. Health has become a major factor, along with our reputation for quality education, world-class dining and endless beaches.
All of which is good news for the property market. As Kirsten Craze writes in her report on Australia’s most desirable suburbs (p36), we can expect expats and international buyers to drive up prices on the eastern seaboard for years to come, particularly in the prestige sector.
Granted, interest rates are also likely to change. Our valued partner, NAB, forecasts an increase between August and November this year. But as the bank’s chief economist, Alan Oster, explains in this issue (plO), the change is expected to be moderate and unlikely to affect many households for a few years. At Kay & Burton, we don’t foresee it having a big impact on the luxury market, as buyers tend to borrow less for their purchase.
We also take a look at the demand for high-end apartments (pl8). Since the pandemic, we’ve seen a real shift in wealthy buyers, many of whom now want the flexibility to move with the seasons, wintering in Noosa and spending summer at their Melbourne pad. For these buyers, the ultimate penthouse combines the luxuries of a grand estate with the convenience of being able to lock up and leave.
I hope you enjoy the magazine. The feedback we received from the launch issue has been overwhelming. We may be living in a digital world, but so many of you commented on the touch and feel of the publication. I agree there’s nothing quite like flipping through the pages of a luxury magazine, and this issue offers plenty of great reads.