Figures stack up for property

THE WA property market is clearly back on track after the GST-induced paralysis of late last year, with latest figures from the Department of Land Administration indicating an 86 per cent lift in property transfers since June 2000.

And the trend has picked up pace in the first quarter of 2001, with more than 7,000 transfer documents lodged in March, a 26 per cent increase on the 5,600 lodged in February this year.

Chesterton International valuations director David Burgess said renewed buyer confidence and recent interest rate cuts meant the improvement was likely to continue in the short to medium term, as the market returned to normal.

“When the GST was introduced in New Zealand it had a similar effect on the property market, and it also took nine months for the market to correct itself

– as it has done here,” he said.

“In Australia there are a number of factors which should cause continued growth – interest rates are low and heading lower and the $14,000 First Home Owners Grant, which should see new buyers flocking to take advantage before its use-by-date expires five minutes after the next federal election.”

Mr Burgess said that, while the grant applied only to new properties, increased activity at the lower end of the property market was likely to generate more activity in the established property market.

DOLA’s March 2001 figures also showed 743 strata lots were created, translating into a 68.5 per cent rise from February and 19.8 per cent rise from March 2000.

Mr Burgess expected there would be strong demand for strata-titled property, particularly from first homebuyers.

“As the majority of these strata titled lots can be developed into quality yet affordable housing, and receive the full $14,000 grant, demand for them should be strong,” he said.

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