The Smartline Report – May Edition

The month in review: Perth

By Herron Todd White
May 2016

When we think of heritage precincts in Perth, most people jump straight to the heritage rich port of Fremantle and the highly sought after suburb of Mount Lawley, so we’ll use those as the basis of our discussion. Other examples include Bassendean, Perth, Guildford, Bicton, Dalkeith and Claremont.

The most common form and most sought after architectural style is without a doubt the Federation style. The style is exemplified by complex, ornate joinery and detailed plasterworks including ornate ceilings and mouldings, lead light windows and tuck-pointed brick work. Timber is always a feature, whether by polished timber floors, timber parquetry or extensive timber mouldings. Given the long established nature of the suburbs featuring these properties, external appeal includes streets lined with mature trees which become a feature unto themselves.

Well renovated dwellings are always keenly sought after, as renovating an original Federation style dwelling is often a labour of love and a costly enterprise. Entry level in both Mount Lawley and Fremantle is under $1 million for a basic and neglected dwelling on a smaller allotment, however properties that have undergone a significant restoration can command well above $2 million. It can be very easy to over-capitalise on these properties and those that fall at the upper end of the value range in the area are often the first to feel a slowdown in the market.

Generally in these areas the heritage listing does not have an onerously negative effect. In many cases, the heritage listing of all dwellings within a pocket acts to protect value by ensuring consistency of the streetscape.

Often the heritage listing will only affect the façade of a dwelling and it is common for the front two or four rooms of a dwelling to be retained and a contemporary dwelling will sit behind this, resulting in a clash of architecture but the compromise being the luxuries of modern living. These properties are often less sought after in comparison to dwellings which have undergone an extension sympathetic with the style of the façade and there are many examples of this being attempted to the detriment of the overall market value.

In relation to tenancy appeal, there is very good tenant demand for these properties, as tenants are renting a lifestyle that they can not afford to finance or purchase. The lower end of the market is often keenly sought after in the rental market, reflecting a well located property with a character feel. Both Mount Lawley and Fremantle offer a wide selection of rental properties constructed in the Federation style and the amenities offered within both areas increases the demand and ensures a consistency of occupancy.

Please note that information in this publication is subject to change without notice. Smartline assumes no responsibility for any errors, omissions or mistakes in this document. © Smartline Home Loans P/L 1999 – 2016. Australian Credit Licence Number 385325

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.