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The dramatic decline in sales activity from 89,000 in 2005 to less than 39,000 in 2018 is a clear sign that the property industry needs a stimulus to attract buyers and investors back into the market.
Western Australian property market is an integral part of the WA economy which provides housing and a regular source of income for the state.
REIWA’s six-point plan outlines recommendations that we believe will help boost the economy and enable more people to enter the property market.
With first home buyers accounting for a third of all residential property transactions in WA, the stamp duty exception limit should be increased from $430,000 to $550,000. This will open up 49 per cent of properties in the Perth central sub region (within 15 kilometres of the CBD).
Enabling first home buyers to purchase established properties provides the opportunity to live closer to the city and also has major economic flow-on effects with buyers often then spending a significant amount on renovations.
In 2018, the number of first home buyers reached its lowest levels since 2011, with 8,511 purchasing established properties and 6,246 purchased new homes.
By re-introducing the $7,000 first home owner’s grant (FHOG) for the purchase of existing dwellings, all West Australians will get a helping hand into their first home, regardless of what they choose to buy.
Not only is stamp duty a hindrance on affordability, it limits households in making appropriate housing decisions in accordance with their lifestyle choices, changing needs or economic reasons.
To help seniors over the age of 65 to be able to ‘right size’ their properties, REIWA is asking the State Government to introduce a $10,000 concession which will open up housing diversity options for all potential home buyers.
In addition REIWA calls for an off-the-plan concession to allow stamp duty to only be payable on the land component alone, which brings it in line with current house and land purchases, reduces urban sprawl and promotes infill developments.
Currently the WA property market attracts the lowest number of foreign investors of any state and is second only to the Northern Territory nationally.
Foreign investors play a key role in the delivery of off-the-plan projects which creates construction jobs for thousands of West Aussies, which is why REIWA recommends that the seven per cent foreign owner duty surcharge be revoked to keep the WA property market competitive.
REIWA’s outlook for 2019 indicates the market will remain soft well into 2020 which is why REIWA is asking for the State Government to undertake a state tax review.
It is important to our economy that the government assesses the viability and financial implications of shifting to a broad-based land tax system that ultimately removes stamp duty.
REIWA will continue to advocate for a fair property tax system so that every West Australian has the opportunity to reach their home ownership aspirations.
Read the full six-point plan which has been submitted to Western Australian Government.
See what REIWA President Damian Collins has said in the media about the six-point plan: