Re­turn of hol­i­day home­buy­ers helps drive mar­ket up

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Residential -

AF­TER a “shock­ing” 2016, REIWA coun­cil­lor

Joe While said the mar­ket was start­ing to look up.

“There were 32,000 sales statewide, as against the 10-year av­er­age of 62,000,” he said.

“(How­ever) the doom and gloom seems to have passed and peo­ple are buy­ing again in the South-west for all sorts of rea­sons.

“Re­tire­ment is a big mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor and a few hol­i­day-home buy­ers have slipped back into the scene, which is the first time they have come out of hi­ber­na­tion since the sum­mer of 2007-8.

“First-home buy­ers are few, but a healthy turnover in es­tab­lished homes seems to have re­set the mar­ket.”

De­spite the fall in hol­i­day-home pur­chases, in­creased turnover from per­ma­nent res­i­dents look­ing to set­tle in the South-west, or buy­ing with a view to set­tling in the re­gion, had sup­ported the mar­ket. Mr White said hol­i­day-home buy­ers were re­turn­ing, but with a dif­fer­ence.

“This sum­mer we saw an in­creased in­ter­est from Perth buy­ers, how­ever they weren’t sim­ply look­ing for a hol­i­day home but a hol­i­day home with a view to be­ing a semi-per­ma­nent home in the fu­ture,” he said.

“The de­mo­graph­ics are chang­ing and we have a new breed of dual ci­ti­zen emerg­ing; for ex­am­ple, spend­ing four days here, three in Perth – kick­ing the kids out and sell­ing the Perth home and buy­ing a unit.”

Re­flect­ing in­ter­est from a va­ri­ety of buy­ers, Mr White said all ar­eas of the mar­ket were see­ing de­mand, but prices were yet to im­prove.

“There has been no growth but there is less choice in ar­eas near the beach, so I sus­pect we may see prices firm a bit over the next year,” Mr White said.

“But we are not ex­pect­ing a re­turn to in­fla­tion­ary con­di­tions as peo­ple are still look­ing for value for their money. On the whole, though, I’m qui­etly op­ti­mistic about the mar­ket.

“Some select ar­eas could see a bit of growth, but I see in­creased turnover as be­ing the big change over 2016.”

Aside from the ob­vi­ous life­style at­trac­tions, one of the fac­tors sup­port­ing a move to the South-west was tech­nol­ogy.

“The growth in tech­nol­ogy has been a ben­e­fit to re­gional ar­eas,” Mr While said.

“Work can now be done re­motely and the NBN could be a game-changer for us.”

The $60 mil­lion up­grade to the Bus­sel­ton Air­port is also ex­pected to sup­port more fly-in-fly-out life­style res­i­dents and tourism in the South-west, as well as sup­port­ing agri­cul­tural ex­perts.

“It's a long way off, but it could be a game-changer,” Mr White said.

Joe White

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