15/04/2021 - 10:00

Confidence rises in WA

15/04/2021 - 10:00

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Western Australia’s property market has come out on top for having the most positive outlook in the country, but industry says tax reform is needed to underpin growth.

Confidence rises in WA
The Property Council has called for the stamp duty rebate for off-the-plan apartments to be made a permanent tax concession. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Western Australia’s property market has come out on top for having the most positive outlook in the country, but industry says tax reform is needed to underpin growth.

The latest ANZ/Property Council of Australia sentiment survey recorded a 24-point increase in WA’s confidence index for the three months to March to 157 points, now ranked first among all major states in terms of positive outlook.  

The survey considers a score of 100 index points as neutral, with the national confidence index now sitting at 142 points.

The Q1 2021 survey was informed from the responses of more than 800 participants from across the property industry, including developers, managers, agents and service providers.

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

“High industry confidence is a reflection of our state’s ability to withstand the impact of COVID-19 and work together to ensure our economy, which is supported by a strong property industry, continues to grow,” Ms Brewer said.

Survey respondents were also asked to nominate what they considered the most critical issues for the state government.

Property taxes and charges received the most priority (representing 24 per cent of responses), followed by vibrant city centres (22 per cent) and housing supply and affordability (17 per cent).

“Policies that support apartment development can address all three priorities.

“By eliminating the Foreign Buyers’ Surcharge and making permanent concessions for off the-plan apartment buyers, the state government can boost rental stock, meet infill targets and enhance the vibrancy of Perth’s CBD,” Ms Brewer explained.

“The seven 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 apartment projects off the ground and provide much-needed rental stock.

“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.”

The Property Council has also called for the 75 per cent stamp duty rebate for off-the-plan apartments to be made a permanent tax concession.

The stamp duty debate is due to expire in October.

“Making this a permanent tax concession will act as a long-term incentive and support well-designed infill development in established suburbs,” Ms Brewer said.

“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 homes, jobs and growth in 2021, to build a strong and prosperous state for future generations.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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