Economic downturn hits Western Australia housing market: Bankwest

Economic downturn hits Western Australia housing market: Bankwest
Economic downturn hits Western Australia housing market: Bankwest

The end of the resources boom and a slowing of the state’s population growth are contributing factors in the sharp drop in housing approvals in WA in the year to March 2017.

This is one of the findings of the Bankwest Housing Density report which analyses trends in approvals of medium and low density housing over both the long and the short term, combined with the latest Census 2016 data.

The new report shows approvals for medium and low density housing dropped in WA by around a quarter (27.1% and 23% respectively) in the year to March 2017, the largest decline of any of the mainland states.

Commenting on the findings, Bankwest General Manager Broker Sales Stewart Saunders, said: “This pronounced, short term drop is likely due the slowing of the state’s population growth to 0.7% during this period, a soft property market, lots of rental properties on the market and corresponding falling rental rates.

“The economic downturn is having a noticeable effect.

“Over the longer term, WA’s historically high population growth, which peaked at 10.5% during this period, coupled with the large amount of space in WA, allowed for strong growth in both medium and lower density housing stocks,” he added.

The report reveals the growth in standalone homes in WA outstripped all the other states, with a rise in standalone housing stock of 7.4% over the five years to June 2016.

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Economic downturn hits Western Australia housing market: Bankwest

A rise of 15.0% in the five years to June 2016 was seen in the amount of apartments built in the same period.

On a national level the report paints a picture of a country which is continuing a long-term trend towards apartment style living.

However, in the short term - as seen in WA - there was a noted drop in medium density approvals – the biggest downturn in approvals for medium density housing for over four years.

Mr Saunders said that while the report showed a general downturn over the 12 months to March 2017 there were pockets of notable growth.

“The analysis of the data has allowed us to produce a top ten of the Australia’s fastest growing areas for apartment-style living. Interestingly, the area of Cottesloe-Claremont in Perth came out on top.

“Over the 12 months to March this year over half [50.2%] of all housing approvals in that area were for medium density housing.

“Looking a little closer at what’s happening at a local level it would appear the ‘Claremont on the Park’ development, where there are plans to build some 750 apartments, is the reason for the slight anomaly,” he said.

Mr Saunders said the annual Housing Density Report is the latest in Bankwest’s ongoing series of insights on economic data, trends and issues of value to its customers, businesses, communities and policy makers.

“Bankwest is committed to helping customers and local businesses achieve what matters, contributing to the development of our communities and being a constructive voice in the debate on the future of the economy.”

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Western Australia Bankwest

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