Welcome to Spring and the threat of nuclear warfare to the North.
Could the “politics of moral panic” – the statues, the burqa and marital laws be replaced by the politics of reality in the media headlines?
One social issue has been dealt with swiftly by the High Court, ruling that the postal vote on one of the dominant issues can go ahead. Dual citizenship is next. Could Canberra now focus on the energy crisis, an improving economy, small business – the employers of over 40% of Australia’s work force and how to help them keeping the people productively employed?
The RBA has left interest rates on hold at 1.5% for the 13th time in a row, but sees improvement in the economy, as well as changes in its structure, unforeseen shocks and the influence of global policies on the Australian environment.
Will he, or won’t he? The North Korean dictator versus the tweeting US President: who will blink first?
Could the Russian President be right in his assessment that North Korea’s moves are designed to remove the sanctions so he can feed his people?
Meanwhile, the latest intercontinental ballistic missile is being made ready … …
Any current European or Middle Eastern crisis pales into insignificance in comparison.
Across the ditch
The Kiwis are in early election mode. The opposition is ahead in the polls, with a bright and shiny new leader as the media darling.
Has a stable government which delivered a healthy surplus and left NZ “relaxed and comfortable” and therefore bored and ready to try a new government again? We Aussies did in 2007, and look at us now!
Back at the Ranch
In a country where everyone except the Aboriginals has foreign ancestry, the High Court is taking its time to decide the dual nationality issues of our parliamentarians. Media joy – more manoeuvres, more posturing, more headlines.
The lowly paid worker in the broader Australian economy may get some welcome relief if the upturn in business conditions and employment translates into wage rises.
There is good news
As the RBA keeps record rates on hold it reports that the effect of the mining slump is coming to an end and foreshadows more benign conditions ahead, despite warnings of economic shocks between 2017 and 2021. Capital expenditure in private industry is rising, wages will follow.
In property, the feel good factor is palpable. Record turnouts of people to property related industry functions indicates the depth and longevity of positive conditions on our patch. There’s lots of action in every market sector.
The Asset Classes
Battles for supremacy, director spills and hostile takeover attempts dominate the listed property sector.
Foreign capital is still chasing our assets, the threat of a nuclear war is not yet a deterrent in the long term plans of the global sovereign funds.
There’s lots of media about a new asset class – “Build-to-Rent”. Heeding the old saying “the second mouse gets the cheese”, when will the discussions end and who will be the first to take the plunge?
The banks’ latest moves in residential lending are keeping mortgage activity at a modest level. Will this help to improve their market reputation?
They are aiding the RBA’s attempts to keep the bubble at bay. Is there still a bubble?
Prices and activity in residential real estate seem to be stable, will they ease?
Show me the Money
Staff shortages continue. The head hunter frenzy, especially in the design and construction markets has speeded up in the last few months.
Outrageous offers to change jobs are out there and are driving up the remuneration of existing staff. Employers are reluctant to lose good people and strive to match the offers.
Avdiev has been engaged on a number of consulting assignments to benchmark executives under threat in a very fast moving market.
It will be interesting to see if the modest pay rise predictions in the March 2017 Avdiev Property Industry Remuneration Report will hold or what effect the market frenzy has had on recent pay reviews.
The Avdiev Survey is underway, and if you have not yet contributed data, please do so before Monday 11 September. Click to contribute.
There are many other pay issues in our industry.
It’s not only the major players who are facing pay disputes which we have been asked to resolve. The politics of envy are alive and well among the minnows.
As companies grow and prosper disputes arise when remuneration needs to move to reflect the hard work and success of the chief. Issues such as sibling rivalries, many voices with differing points of view, attacks on the CEO’s level of reward, succession planning, retention, promotion and pay disparities emerge.
As independent property remuneration consultants with a wealth of salary and incentive data gathered from employers in all market sectors, we find totally impartial solutions acceptable to all parties – until the next family tiff or the next pay review.
At the top
Reports have emerged about the trend for reduction in pay for CEOs in major global companies. Outcries about the level of reward paid to recently departed CEOs of Australian top companies has increased resentment about the disparity in pay between the fat cats and the underlings.
There’s renewed debate about incentives, bonuses, retention payments and the criteria for such perks. Have incentives become an as-of-right expectation for meeting targets or should they be reserved for targets exceeded?
As the AGM season for ASX listed companies heats up and proxy advisors encourage major investors to vote against director and executive remuneration, ASIC the regulator, concerned about market destabilisation, has warned the proxy firms to curb their enthusiasm for negative advice.
Last but not least – The Women
Gender and pay differentials are still hot button issues. Among other entities Male Champions of Change, including those in property, are making valiant efforts to bridge the gap. But so far there is no clear evidence that feel good platitudes are showing quantifiable results that can be touted as a measure of real success.