A major survey of Perth housing preferences has revealed the traditional three-bedroom, double-brick house remains the aim for many aspiring homebuyers, but most would compromise in exchange for affordability and a good location.
More than 1,000 people were surveyed for the Housing We'd Choose study, commissioned by the Department of Housing and Planning with support from the Planning Institute of Australia, Property Council of Australia and Housing Industry Association.
The study is the first of its kind for Perth, and was modelled on similar surveys undertaken by the Grattan Institute in Sydney and Melbourne.
While 78 per cent of respondents preferred a separate house over any other dwelling type, that number fell to 56 per cent when respondents were constrained by income and location.
Respondents were more willing to consider semi-detached housing when income was taken into account, with young professionals without children particularly receptive.
Perth's current housing supply is comprised of 80 per cent separate houses and just 12 per cent semi-detached houses, according to the report, with apartments accounting for the remaining 9 per cent.
The report suggests Perth's current housing supply needed to shift to a more even spread consisting of 56 per cent separate houses, 35 per cent semi-detached houses and 9 per cent apartments in order to better reflect aspiring homeowners' demands.
"This pattern of supply would deliver a much more diverse product and provide a far greater choice for Perth and Peel households, permitting location and house type/size trade-offs," the authors said.
Dale Alcock Homes general manager Dean O'Rourke said while there was growing appetite for semi-detached homes, there were issues with affordability in building them in the inner-central area.
"If you get through the burbs now you see very much that zero lot lines have been in place for a decade, so I think people are very comfortable with that," Mr O'Rourke told Business News.
"Maybe in the last five to 10 years through the GFC the inner-central area has probably not produced as much of that as we would have liked, but again, they've had some lending restrictions and the appetite of the banks to finance that sort of product hasn't been high.
"Obviously it's got some affordability constraints closer to town than you'd have on the outer fringes."
Almost half of the respondents who identified a four-bedroom house as their first preference were willing to trade-off to a cheaper and better-located three-bedroom house.
Department of Planning director general Eric Lumsden said a combination of affordability and location pressures was driving an evolution in housing.
"We expect to see these evolve further in coming years, as the ageing population and other demographic shifts drive housing demand in the Perth-Peel region," he said