Ben Hurley Reporter

Ben covers the property industry and has a keen interest in entrepreneurship and travel writing. He speaks Mandarin and previously covered housing and urban affairs for The Australian Financial Review.

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What a surprise – WA leads pack in housing investment

Published 21 March 2013 12:31, Updated 28 March 2013 07:08

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Western Australia’s improving housing market presents a stark contrast to the rest of Australia.

RP Data’s analysis finds relatively affordable Perth suburbs sit alongside booming resources towns as the busiest housing markets in the country.

The analysis highlights council regions where annual transaction volumes are substantially higher than their five-year average. The result is a list of council areas dominated by Perth suburbs, where transaction activity is up to 25 per cent higher than the long-term average.

Perth’s fast-growing urban fringe featured heavily as first home buyers searched afar for cheaper homes. There has been a 20 per cent increase in transaction activity in Serpentine Jarrahdale to the south-west, where the median home is $412,000, and the commute to Perth about 40 minutes. Recent census data shows rents soared by 99 per cent in this area in the five years to 2011.

But expensive areas like Cottesloe and Subiaco, with median values above $1 million, also saw a big increase in transactions. And there has been a recovery in hard-hit coastal holiday areas like Mandurah and Busselton.

Nationwide, the only other areas to make the above-average list are resources-rich areas like Gloucester and Muswellbrook in NSW, Mount Isa and Isaac in Queensland and Litchfield and Palmerston in the Northern Territory. First home buyer numbers are low in most capital cities, except Perth, where they make up a rising proportion of new sales, January housing finance data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show.

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