For those interested, perhaps 2016 will be a good year after all.... So far 2016 hasn’t known whether it’s coming or going. The stock market was about to crash, and then it wasn’t. The property bubble was about to burst, then it wasn’t. Confusing to say the least. But then last week two pieces of good news that flipped sentiment on its head. First up, we had a stronger than expected print on Australian GDP. Australian GDP increased 3.0% over the year. That’s a very good clip. It’s faster than every economy in the G7, and much faster than the OECD average. Importantly, it’s “above trend”. That is, it’s better than we normally do. So in the eyes of the market, it’s a good news story. It’s a very good news story. Resources investment was a drag on growth, but that was always expected. Strength was fairly broad-based and it looks like Australia is pulling off the transition. Phew. But that wasn’t all. We also had an unusually strong employment result in the US. Actually, it was unusually perfect. Because what it showed was that jobs growth was still robust – up a decent 242,000. American job creation is holding form. At the same time, the unemployment rate held and at a more-than-comfortable low of 4.9%. But what makes the jobs data so perfect is that there is no evidence of wage-price inflation: wages have risen just 2.2% over the year. That means the Fed can just take it easy. There’s no rush to raise rates any time soon to head off inflation. They can just relax. And that means markets can relax. One of the quirks of the Quantitative Easing era was that good news was bad news. When the economy looked good, people worried that the Fed might take the sauce away, and share prices dropped. Good news became bad news. But last week we saw good news that was good news. Markets welcomed it. And with two pieces of strong news, suddenly the world is a rosier place. The fears of total economic collapse have faded to the background, and things are looking steady, both here in Australia, and globally. Good news. And of course, that’s good news for the property market. Everyone was wondering how the start of the year would play out. Improving sentiment will help the momentum we’ve seen building in recent weeks, and the market will be driven by fundamentals more than sentiment. Those fundamentals are still a mixed bag, with resource states WA and the NT struggling. But overall, the outlook for property remains solid.