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is quick to dismiss Airey’s claims that
grants can disappear for new builds
because the builder simply charges more.
“I don’t think that’s right, we certainly
would challenge that,” he says.
“At the moment we’re fighting an
affordability battle on regulation and red
tape. It’s a very competitive market in WA
because we’re coming off a poor couple of
years. I wouldn’t say we’re in boom time
by any means.”
¿ MORE COSTLY YET CHEAPER
The good news if you didn’t manage to
find your dream home before the $7000
grant for established property finished is
that you could actually be buying cheaper
now than a few months ago.
It seems first homebuyers didn’t want to
miss the boat before the grant ended in
September and created a mini rush and
more competition. REIWA figures for the
three months to August showed a dip in
the median house price, which Airey says
was likely triggered by first homebuyers.
“Sales showed the median house sale
price dropping 1.4 per cent to $515,000,”
“This appeared to be due to the large
turnover of more affordable homes
skewing the median downwards.”
There were also around 2076 houses that
sold during the month of August, which
was an increase of four per cent since July
and indicated a last-minute rush.
Airey points out the more affordable
suburbs of Kwinana and Rockingham
More housing for Onslow
Work is about to begin on the first
stage of a new residential estate
A total of 220 lots will be built, with
the potential for more than 300
dwellings to house around 700 people.
Western Australia Lands Minister
Brendon Grylls says the extra lots will
help ease a shortage of residential land.
“With major resource projects under
construction nearby, led by Chevron’s
Wheatstone development, Onslow’s
population is expected to grow by some
1500 new residents over the next three
to four years,” he says.
“This land is crucial for Onslow to
grow into a vibrant and sustainable
town as part of the Liberal National
Government’s Pilbara Cities vision.”
WA landlords reminded
to lodge security bonds
Landlords in Western Australia are
being reminded to lodge new security
bonds following changes to the tenancy
laws, which came into effect in July.
The reminder comes after a Port
Hedland landlord was recently fined
$800 for failing to lodge a tenant’s
bond of $2200.
Commissioner for Consumer
Protection Anne Driscoll says the
Residential Tenancies Act, which
governs the handling of bond money,
is designed to safeguard the interests
“Changes to the law now require all
new bonds to be lodged with the Bond
Administrator at Consumer Protection
immediately,” Driscoll says.
“Bonds on existing tenancies still
being held in a trust or other accounts
will need to be lodged during the
showed an increase in turnover, while
the vacancy rate grew to 3.6 per cent, the
highest level since 2010.
This also indicates first homebuyers
were moving out of rental properties
before the $7000 grant ended.
But the upside is the lower end of
the market has slowed down since
September, according to Airey.
“The median price for first homebuyers
in WA had already risen to $430,000
(before the grant ended),” he says.
“That’s an increase of $70,000 over
about an 18-month to two-year period, so
there had been a significant increase in
the price they were paying. They were
competing so hard for property, they were
pushing up their own prices. It wasn’t
only first homebuyers but investors as
well, so you had this double competition
in the market place.”
Things have since quietened down a
little and so while missing out on an extra
$4000 might hurt, first homebuyers could
be saving that anyway through falling
prices. Airey says the lower end of the
market is now softening, whereas the
mid-range, or properties priced between
$500,000 and $800,000, is now seeing
signs of increased activity, as investors
and upgraders return to the market.
¿ STILL NO STAMP DUTY
Whether you choose a 1960s red-brick
unit or a new property with loads of
grass to squish your toes on, all first
homebuyers are still entitled to stamp
duty concessions on home purchases
valued up to $500,000, or vacant land up
to $300,000. That saves up to $17,765,
so it’s still a pretty attractive incentive
to get into the market, Airey says. If
you combine it with the $3000 grant for
established property, you’d save up to
$20,765. Not a bad New Year’s present.
“We’re far better off than the other
states, where the grant has disappeared,”
“In NSW they took the grant away and
the (first homebuyer) market went flat. So
it’s a nice balance to get that result. It’s
not quite what we hoped for, but far better
than the potential alternative.”
Gelavis adds those who buy new
property can actually save up to $27,765
in total and the HIA is already starting
to see a pick up in demand. The forecast
is for more than 23,000 new homes to be
built in WA this financial year, and close
to 24,000 in the following financial year.
“Building approvals have been growing
for quite some time.The trend is strong.
The annual population growth rate is
higher than any other in the country, it
was close to 3.5 per cent in a year.”
However, Gelavis says there needs to
be regulatory reform to make building
“In WA, the single residential dwelling
that meets the state’s design codes
shouldn’t have to go into the planning
department of a local council. There’s a
lot of red tape in the processes. There
also needs to be a full private certification
model that allows a building surveyor
to be a permit provider, as well as local
WA \\ THE STATES
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