Amid improving confidence levels, real estate and property managers are in hot demand and are pulling in big pay rises, a new survey says.

Based on data from its surveys regarding the seven most common senior positions within the sector across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, Sydney-based Gough Recruitment says salaries within the real-estate, property and construction sectors have risen by an average of 12 per cent over the past year, with asset managers, retail property operations managers real estate strata managers and regional centre managers leading the way.

Gough also said it had experienced a 20 per cent rise in job placement numbers, with candidates choosing to move interstate or overseas in search of promotions – a phenomenon the firm says may partly reflects a desire to achieve significant pay increases. Many who remain in their current environment are struggling to secure increases of five per cent in performance reviews but some of those who have sought alternative employment have secured increases which are significantly higher.

The latest results come amid increasingly buoyant conditions in the property and construction sector, which have seen building industry employment levels soar to close to record highs and property sector expectations regarding forward work schedules and employment remain bullish in almost all states except for Tasmania.

Property managers are not the only ones to benefit. In construction, for example, a recent national survey by Master Builders Australia indicated that skills were becoming harder to find across all 16 categories surveyed, with bricklayers, site managers, project managers, foremen, concreters and carpenters being particularly hard to find – albeit with ABS data showing that construction sector wages remain in check for now.

property salary

Gough CEO Joel Burbuto says the results are not surprising and reflect the strength of strong property markets, especially on the Eastern Seaboard.

He says while Western Australia is lagging behind a little as the mining boom slows, two more years of strong growth was expected in Sydney and Melbourne. Brisbane is also showing signs of increased activity.

“Candidates for employment are in the driver’s seat at present,” Burbuto said. “They are focused on four key criteria before making a job decision. These are culture, brand, opportunities for career progression and salary offering.”