Positive outlook for WA's construction

By Gerv Tacadena | 17 Jul 2020

Western Australia's property industry has one of the most optimistic outlooks amongst state capitals, according to the latest quarterly report from ANZ and the Property Council.

While expectations for capital growth are negative across property sectors in the state, industry professionals have a strong outlook for Western Australia’s residential construction activity.

According to the report, Western Australia is the only state to record positive forward work expectations for the next 12 months.

Sandra Brewer, executive director for Western Australia at the Property Council, said this optimism is likely due to the announcement of housing grants, including the federal government's HomeBuilder grant and the state's own Building Bonus scheme.

"I suspect the full benefit to be delivered by the state's government's $20,000 Building Bonus on top of the federal government's $25,000 HomeBuilder will underpin an improvement in December quarter sentiment," she said.

Property industry professionals are also positive about the federal and state governments' performance. They also cited some of the critical issues facing the state, which include property taxes and charges, planning and regulation reform, housing supply and affordability, development around transport nodes, and vibrant city centres.

Brewer said the property industry sees state government's response to minimise the economic risks of the COVID-19 outbreak as "decisive and effective".

"Further policy reform is important to eliminate obstacles to job-generating projects. The state recovery effort is far from over and we look forward to further planning reform and work to extract the best possible economic outcome from a City Deal for Perth," she said.

A separate report from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia indicates that Perth might be entering a sellers' market as demand from buyers increases while the supply of dwellings moderates.

In June, Western Australia's capital clocked its most robust month for property sales since 2015. Perth recorded 3,990 sales transactions in June, representing a 55% increase from May and a 45% increase from the same month last year.

Damian Collins, president at REIWA, said the spike in property transactions could be due to the fear-of-missing-out phenomenon amongst buyers who are eager to take advantage of the state and federal governments' housing grants.

"The large spike that we have seen in land transactions can be attributed to people fearing that they may miss out on these grants. There is a real possibility that we will run out of titled and completed blocks in the coming months," he said.

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