FIGURES released this week have confirmed the continuing poor performance of the Western Australian housing sector, with Perth recording the largest median price falls of any capital city during the past 12 months.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics said its housing price index for established houses in Perth fell by 1 per cent over the month of June, taking the yearly price drop to a nation-leading 4.1 per cent.
Nationally, the index was down 1.9 per cent for the year.
The ABS figures almost mirrored those of property analysts RP Data, which released its home value analysis on Friday.
According to RP Data, Perth home values dropped 0.2 per cent in June, for a year-on-year fall of 4.7 per cent.
The ABS also released building approvals data for June today, showing a 3.5 per cent fall over the month nationwide, to hit a two-year low.
Building approvals have dropped by 15.5 per cent for the year to June, which is a much greater fall than the 10.7 per cent predicted by economists.
In WA, building approvals fell by 3 per cent in June, seasonally adjusted, dropping for the seventh consecutive month.
Housing Industry Association chief economist Harley Dale said evidence continued to mount of an accelerated deterioration in new home building conditions.
“That situation highlights the appropriateness of continued steady interest rates, the need for stimulus to arrest the new housing decline, and the importance of reform at the October Tax Forum to remove the excessive taxation levied on new residential construction,” Dr Dale said.
The HIA-JELD WEN New Home Sales report, released this week, painted a similarly bleak picture of WA’s new housing market.
The report showed new home sales in WA fell 6.3 per cent over the month of June, to be down 14.5 per cent in the June quarter.
Nationally, new home sales dropped by 8.7 per cent in the month of June, to hit their lowest level since September 2010.
The WA figures are cause for alarm, the HIA said.
“The inherent weakness of the WA new home building market fundamentally signals the need for swift policy action to provide a shot of adrenalin, but also to achieve longer term reform,” the report said.
“Housing affordability is already in the doldrums in the state, and the added pressure on housing stemming from an escalating resources boom will only act to worsen the situation in the absence of swift policy action.”