Economist Dr Andrew Wilson formally resigns from Domain Group

Economist Dr Andrew Wilson formally resigns from Domain Group
Economist Dr Andrew Wilson formally resigns from Domain Group

The hardworking Domain senior economist Dr Andrew Wilson has been missing from zealously offering his commentary on property markets for several months.

An official announcement headlined "Dr Andrew Wilson resigns from Domain" came on his LinkedIn on the weekend.

"On October 25th last year, I resigned as Chief Economist for the Domain Group," he advised.

He was however noticeably absent from early October.

His predecessors include Matthew Bell, who left in 2010 for Stockland, and Louis Christopher who leads SQM.

"My resignation concluded seven years employed by Fairfax brands Australian Property Monitors and Domain Group.

"Following my resignation notification, Domain enforced the ‘garden leave’ provision of my three month notice period.

"This provision precluded me from having any contact with workmates, clients, the media and the wider community through my various social networks.

"With my garden leave and Domain Group employment finally concluded, I will now activate my role as Australia’s leading independent property market economist," he advised.

The background, according to some Fairfax-linked sources, is that Dr Wilson felt unappreciated by Domain's chief editorial and marketing officer, Melina Cruickshank, who has been responsible for the increased trivialisation of property coverage since she joined Domain in October 2014.

This time last year Dr Wilson anticipated capital city housing markets would see mixed results in 2017, but he advised there would "no surprise" that Sydney and Melbourne were likely to continue to lead.

It was likely that other capitals would remain steady, with price growth generally constrained by low income economies, he said.

"Lower interest rates in 2017 are likely to continue to bolster housing markets, with an increasingly underperforming national economy almost certain to require further stimulus from the Reserve Bank," he forecast.

House price growth, although remaining positive in most capitals through 2017, would likely track in a narrow range of up to 5 percent annually for the top performers, Dr Wilson tipped.

"The Darwin and Perth markets were set to bottom out in 2017, following a lengthy period of weak activity with prices at three year lows," Dr Wilson forecast.

He tipped that unit markets would continue to be influenced by significant levels of new apartments, acting to push supply ahead of demand.

The Sydney unit market was forecast to remain strong, due to a chronic undersupply of units and solid demand, holding prices strong. 

"Record new apartment supply in the Melbourne CBD will continue to outstrip demand, with downward pressure on prices to continue in that submarket," he suggested.

"Strong demand and lack of supply for suburban units, however, will offset the weaker CBD market.

"This means that overall Melbourne unit prices growth is likely to remain positive over the year," he forecast.

(An earlier version mispelt Melina Cruickshank as Melinda) 

Andrew Wilson Domain

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