Property Australia

Maintaining South Australia’s momentum

PROPERTY AUSTRALIA September 29, 2020

With a strong record suppressing community transmission and borders reopening, South Australia is the quiet achiever of our pandemic response. How can the state turn its strong health outcomes into an economic rebound?


  Three key takeaways:

  • Property industry sentiment in South Australia leads the nation, according to the ANZ/Property Council Survey, and new home sales have grown to their highest level in six years
  • Property Council SA executive director Daniel Gannon urges the state government to “embrace the low interest rate environment and supercharge our investment in social infrastructure”
  • Premier Steven Marshall will set out his plans for economic recovery at a Property Council luncheon on Thursday 22 October.


South Australia has out-performed other states and territories on a range of indicators through the economic and health crises caused by COVID-19.

The state has just two active cases and recorded the lowest drop in GDP for the June quarter. South Australia’s economy contracted by 5.8 per cent compared to the national decline of seven per cent.

South Australia also recorded the strongest jobs growth of every state except Western Australia since the pandemic low point in April. Employment grew by 6.7 per cent compared to the national average of 4.7 per cent.

Property industry sentiment in South Australia was up for the September quarter by 26 index points on the previous quarter, according to the ANZ/Property Council Survey.

New home sales have grown to their highest level in six years due to a surge in demand prompted by the federal government’s $25,000 HomeBuilder grant. South Australia was second, again only to WA, for new home sales, which were up by almost 105 per cent in the three months to August.

Employee wages have outgrown the national average, while consumer spending in July was up 14 per cent on the previous year. Consumer sentiment was at its highest level since December 2019 according to the Westpac-Melbourne Institute.

Last week, South Australia reopened its borders to NSW allowing quarantine-free travel to the state for the first time since March. The state now has some of the most liberal interstate travel restrictions.

According to the Property Council’s SA executive director Daniel Gannon, the challenge for the state is to leverage its enviable health outcomes into an economic rebound.

“South Australia is the safest and most resilient state in the nation, and has now opened its border to all jurisdictions except Victoria. Similarly, Adelaide is the safest capital city in Australia.

“Our top priority should be investing in strategic job-creating opportunities to build our way out of the recession.

“We’re starting from a stronger position than other parts of the country, but we can’t be complacent about the challenges ahead,” Gannon says.

“We need to embrace the low interest rate environment and supercharge our investment in social infrastructure – the hospitals, schools, tourism, arts, cultural and entertainment facilities – that will help make South Australia the best place to live and work in the country.

“We’re ahead of the game, but let’s keep the momentum going,” Gannon adds.

On 22 Thursday 22 October, the Property Council invites the local industry to hear the inside word from premier Steven Marshall as he maps out the road back to normality for South Australia. Tickets to the in-person luncheon are available online.