State of Play and Pay in the Property Industry


One of the most striking themes to emerge from our recent pulse survey is how well the industry is doing, considering the extreme disruption of the last 18 months.

We learnt from the survey responses that more than two-thirds (68%) of the companies said they are faring ‘well’ or ‘very well’ and that more than one-third (35%) said they expect their performance will improve over the next 12 months.

Further, no companies reported doing ‘badly’ or ‘very badly’, and only 3% said they expect conditions will be ‘worse’ over the next 12 months. And three quarters of all companies said they have ‘strong’ or ‘very strong’ confidence in a business and economic ‘bounce back’.

Yet not all escaped unscathed. One in five reported that they are doing ‘worse’ than prior to the pandemic.

State of difference 

States that managed to avoid extended lockdowns were, unsurprisingly, the most insulated from the pandemic’s damaging economic consequences.
All Northern Territory companies surveyed, 86% of Western Australian companies and 80% of ACT companies said they are doing ‘well’ or ‘very well’. By comparison, only 73% of Victorian companies and 79% of NSW companies reported doing ‘well’ or ‘very well’.
Nearly one-third (29%) of the Western Australian companies surveyed said they are doing better than prior to the pandemic, as did 24% of Queensland companies. But only 17% of NSW companies and 13% of Victorian firms reported doing better than before the pandemic.
All NT companies surveyed expect to do better over the next 12 months. In the ACT, 60% of companies expect to do better. But only 42% of the NSW property companies surveyed and 46% of Victorian companies expect their businesses to do ‘better’ over the next year.

Latest pay increases

Pay rises in the Australian property industry are outpacing wages growth across the general workforce, suggesting many property companies have successfully weathered the pandemic storm and are emerging optimistic as restrictions begin to be lifted.

In the latest round of pay reviews, 43% of property companies say they have resumed their usual pay increases, and 18% say they will offer higher-than-usual increases to ‘catch up’ from stalled gains last year.

On average, property companies are offering staff a 3% pay rise, well above the national Wage Price Index, which is currently sitting at 1.7%.

Not all companies are offering wage increases. More than one in ten (11%) of the companies surveyed are maintaining a wage freeze, and 3% are cutting wages. Considering the upheaval and disruption of the last two years, it’s encouraging these figures are not higher.

Increase in the Superannuation Guarantee

More than three-quarters of the companies surveyed (76%) added the July 0.5% superannuation guarantee increase to total remuneration.

A tight labour market

The latest survey reveals the property industry labour market is tight, with nearly half of the companies across all property sectors experiencing skills shortages. Border closures are restricting access to overseas workers, making it difficult to fill some roles.

The competition for staff has seen higher than usual pay increases to retain existing staff and pressure on remuneration for highly sought after new recruits.

The new workplace

Working from home has been one of the most significant changes brought about by the pandemic. Most staff in the property industry shifted to WFH, and now companies are reviewing what work will look like in the future.
When asked about plans to return to the office, 54% of companies said they will have a hybrid arrangement and 33% said they will return to the office full time.

No vax, no job

Nearly three-quarters of the companies surveyed won’t make vaccination mandatory, but most expressed strong support for vaccination. Three in every five companies surveyed (61%) are allowing time off for vaccination and recovery.

The property industry faces uncertain times as restrictions are lifted around the country. The results from our latest survey suggest that the industry is well positioned for recovery.

We hope this newsletter will be of assistance as you consider upcoming remuneration decisions. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like any information on our Avdiev Report remuneration products or tailored reviews.

Best regards
Debra Moloney | Avdiev Report |