The month in review: South West WA
By Herron Todd White
Agents in the main towns throughout the south-west of Western Australia are reporting a stable level of sales with a levelling out of values throughout the lower and middle segments and a slight increase in land values. The top end of the market continues to be more problematic, with continuing weak demand and is characterised by an over supply of properties for sale coupled with a lack of prospective purchasers in that value range. The rural residential market has also slowed with the majority of the sales being below $1 million and is also experiencing extended selling periods.
Developers are responding to the lack of land supply with further releases in Treendale, Millbridge, Dalyellup, Provence, Vasse Newtown, Kealy and Dunsborough Lakes which is likely to see the demand supply balance improve.
The rental market has eased slightly over the past 12 months, however continues to be relatively tight with low vacancies and historically high rents putting upwards pressure on the first home buyer market and bringing
investors back into the game.
Smaller lot developments in the new subdivisions have become popular due to their affordability and it is anticipated that this will be a trend going forward with a move away from large homes to smaller, well appointed homes on small blocks, with limited gardens and the ability to lock and leave.
The groyne realignment at Port Geographe in the City of Busselton is drawing to a close and already we have seen a considerable increase in values, particularly for canal blocks.
Overall the word on the street is that it is likely the property market in the south-west for 2015 will be slow. This is on the back of the Perth metropolitan market slowing significantly throughout the last two quarters of 2014 which historically has a flow on effect to the south-west market. Nevertheless, the market to date has remained relatively steady, however is expected to weaken throughout the year.