Apartment development policies critical to maintaining WA’s confidence: PCA

April 19, 20210

Apartment development policies critical to maintaining WA’s confidence: PCA

April 19, 2021 0

Confidence in Western Australia’s property industry is soaring, but investment-sapping taxes are tipped to slow growth.

The latest ANZ/Property Council of Australia industry confidence survey placed Western Australia at the helm of industry confidence, with 157 index points in March – up 24 points over the past three months and above the national average of 142.

Western Australia’s expectations around forward work schedules, staffing levels and economic growth were also the highest in the country, Property Council WA executive director Sandra Brewer said.

“High industry confidence is a reflection of our state’s ability to weather the storms of COVID-19 and work together to ensure our economy, which is underpinned by a strong property industry, continues to grow.”

As such, Ms Brewer has called for a commitment to collaboration between industry and government to back the current confidence boom and minimise possible roadblocks to growth.

The survey also revealed that Western Australians see property taxes and charges (24 per cent), vibrant city centres (22 per cent) and housing supply and affordability (17 per cent) as the most critical issues in today’s property market.

According to Ms Brewer, these could all be addressed by implementing policies that support apartment development, including the elimination of foreign buyers’ surcharge.

By doing so, the government can “boost rental stock, meet infill targets and enhance the vibrancy of Perth’s CBD”, she explained.

“The 7 per cent foreign buyers’ surcharge has hampered growth in the apartment market since it was introduced in 2019. Foreign investors often provide the first round of funding to get off-the-plan apartment projects off the ground.

“Removing this surcharge will attract investment and skilled migrants, boost our apartment rental stock and generate property tax revenue as international buyers return to the market,” Ms Brewer continued.

Additionally, the establishment of permanent concessions for off-the-plan apartment buyers can further boost growth opportunities across the state, she said.

According to the executive director, the 75 per cent stamp duty rebate for off-the-plan apartments – which is set to expire in October – has already encouraged much-needed development and provided greater housing choice.

By making this a permanent tax concession instead of a short-term incentive, the government can support the residential construction industry post-HomeBuilder and complementary state government stimulus, Ms Brewer highlighted.

“The residential construction industry … was the workhorse of our state’s economy last year. A report published by NHFIC found every $1 million spent on residential development generates nine full-time jobs.”

Ultimately, Ms Brewer believes that long-term strategies will drive the continuous growth across Western Australia.

“Our state is poised to capitalise on the post-COVID boom – as this boost in industry confidence confirms.

“Let’s back this up with far-sighted strategies that deliver jobs and growth in 2021, and builds a strong and prosperous state for future generations,” Ms Brewer concluded.

Source: Smart Property Investment

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