In­vest­ment rules a lesser pri­or­ity

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News -

to the elec­tion, the new Labor gov­ern­ment com­mit­ted to in­tro­duc­ing a tax on for­eign in­vestors.

Res­i­den­tial West asked lo­cal agents how this might af­fect the lo­cal prop­erty mar­ket.

Ac­ton Dalkeith and Cottes­loe di­rec­tor Grant Hey­mans said the pro­posed tax would have more of an im­pact on off-the-plan and new apart­ment sales, but a very mi­nor im­pact on es­tab­lished prop­er­ties for sale.

Growth Re­alty prin­ci­pal Enzo Pag­nozzi said it would de­pend on the amount of tax im­posed on for­eign buy­ers.

“Most for­eign buy­ers are seek­ing a qual­ity in­vest­ment in a safe, well-reg­u­lated mar­ket,” he said.

“They are also less price sen­si­tive than lo­cal buy­ers and our Su­bi­aco mar­ket and sur­round­ing sub­urbs of­fer ex­cel­lent value, with our lo­cal tax­a­tion laws gen­er­ally more favourable than other in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.”

Black­burne man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Paul Black­burne said for­eign in­vest­ment was not a large part of the Perth mar­ket and should be en­cour­aged.

“Un­like the east coast, Perth has very few for­eign in­vestors and I think we should be do­ing all we can to at­tract for­eign in­vest­ment,” he said.

“(They) may only be 10-20 per cent of a project, how­ever those sales are im­por­tant in be­ing able to get pre­sales on projects so that they can get fund­ing and com­mence con­struc­tion.

“This cre­ates thou­sands of jobs.

“Higher taxes on for­eign in­vestors buy­ing prop­erty in WA will greatly re­duce the small but im­por­tant for­eign in­vest­ment we cur­rently have.”

Rather than tack­ling for­eign in­vest­ment, Mr Hey­mans, Mr Pag­nozzi and Mr Black­burne felt there were other is­sues the new gov­ern­ment should ad­dress.

Mr Hey­mans said clients were hes­i­tant to make prop­erty de­ci­sions as a re­sult of un­cer­tainty about the econ­omy, the po­lit­i­cal land­scape and dra­matic changes to tax laws in­volv­ing prop­erty.

“We haven't seen this gen­eral ap­a­thy in the past 10 years,” he said.

“If Labor pro­vides clear di­rec­tion, clients can act and plan ac­cord­ingly.

“This may en­cour­age them to trans­act again and look to the fu­ture.”

Mr Pag­nozzi would like the new gov­ern­ment to en­cour­age mar­ket ac­tiv­ity through af­ford­abil­ity mea­sures.

“Hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity is an on­go­ing chal­lenge for first-home buy­ers,” he said.

“As first-home buyer ac­tiv­ity of­ten pre­cedes growth in the mar­ket, it makes good eco­nomic sense for any State Gov­ern­ment to in­cen­tivise first-home buy­ers and de­crease bar­ri­ers to en­try.”

Mr Black­burne said WA needed more jobs.

“Prop­erty and con­struc­tion can be­come a ma­jor driver to cre­ate more jobs,” he said.

“To do this we need to re­duce stamp duty for off-the-plan pur­chasers, which will in­cen­tivise peo­ple to buy off the plan and cre­ate thou­sands of new jobs.

“It will also help cre­ate higher den­sity liv­ing around train sta­tions and town cen­tres which will have a range of ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing re­duced traf­fic conges­tion, less ur­ban sprawl and as­so­ci­ated in­fra­struc­ture costs and help trans­form Perth into a truly cos­mopoli­tan in­ter­na­tional city.”

Grant Hey­mans

Paul Black­burne

Enzo Pag­nozzi

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