The Avdiev Report is always a good indicator to the state of the property industry and the issue released on Tuesday was no different. There was some moderately good news on salaries with rises in September 2019 to January this year averaging 2.9 per cent, slightly higher than the 2.5 per cent rise reported for the year to September 2019. But during Covid the rises were smaller, at 1.9 per cent on average.

From the balance of businesses that did report an impact from Covid, 47 per cent said their company was faring worse now than six months ago, the report said.  In no surprise to anyone, among the various sectors retail has come off worst of all, with development and construction next in line.

“Businesses in the Northern Territory and Tasmania reported suffering a very high impact from restrictions and Victoria’s move into stage 4 lockdown has brought on a second wave of gyration in the economy. The local construction sector is feeling the toll with many workers across high-rise projects now at risk, due to the newly enforced curfews and curtailed business activity,” the report said. 

“Vacancy rates throughout the country have risen across commercial office and retail property markets and income and investment values have been hugely affected.

“A general slowdown to operations across the property development sector has been experienced, with projects being delayed, investors retreating and loan costs rising and harder to secure.”

The report said there was no doubt that the ability to work from home had helped, with an average of 57 per cent of staff doing so and thanks to the stimulus package by the government,  58 per cent of companies surveyed said they had not been forced to cut staff numbers.

Job movements

Digital energy technology company Wattwatchers has brought Philip Keogan on full time as chief commercial officer.

Mr Keogan has been working for the company in a strategy consulting capacity since 2019. He was previously senior vice president – Asia Pacific at Sunverge Energy, a US-based digital energy company and one of the first to use aggregated residential energy storage systems to create virtual power plants (VPPs).

He’s also worked at Ergon Energy, a Queensland government-owned energy corporation, where he was executive general manager – energy sustainability & market development.

He’s also worked at Jemena, Optus and Telecom Ireland (Dublin) focused on disruptive technology and infrastructure development.

Construction business Icon Construction has leadership changes in NSW, with Edward Whiting appointed Icon’s NSW director and Michael Read will be NSW executive director.

Mr Whiting’s position will involve leading the NSW business with the strategic direction of Mr Read.  

A restructure at Standards Australia will see an expanded executive team.

Adrian O’Connell remains chief executive officer with other leadership positions filled by Emma Lowes (general manager people and performance), Kareen Riley-Takos (general manager operations), Stefan Savva (general manager commercial and products) and Adam Stingemore (general manager engagement and communications).

Our pick of the jobs

Melbourne’s doing it tough but there are still tantalising jobs going, particularly in local government. The Banyule City Council is looking for an environmental sustainable focused Development Planner to join the Planning & Building team on a part time basis.

Also in Melbourne, the City of Boroondara is looking for a senior placemaking official.

And on the Gold Coast based environmental management consultancy Biodiversity Australia is on the hunt for an environmental business manager.

There’s also a job going as director, environment and approvals for the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority, which is delivering an underground railway project through central Brisbane.

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