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Off-the-plan review

THE Real Estate Institute of WA has formed a committee to address issues within the project marketing sector in response to the rapidly growing off-the-plan and apartment real estate sectors,

REIWA public affairs director Lino Iacomella said two important areas the REIWA project marketing committee would examine were the standardisation of off-the-plan documentation and paperwork, including sales contracts, and the professional development of the sector.

“There is increasing evidence that a specialised contract is required for off-the-plan sales,” he said.

Mr Iacomella said the growth in the project marketing sector would continue to parallel that in off-the-plan sales and the apartment market, both of which were expected to grow in line with demographic changes towards smaller households and market preference for inner-city living,

Committee chairman Blackburne and Joyce Property Group managing director, Graham Joyce, said that much of the construction occurring around Perth was being built for the off-the-plan investment market.

“You only need to look around town and see how many buildings are under construction, it is for the first time in many years we have had that level of activity,” he said.

Mr Joyce said that, due to this growth, project marketing had become a specialised area of real estate practice. Accordingly, REIWA members and the public believed there was a need to consolidate project-marketing practices.

While acknowledging a need to bring off-the-plan sales contracts into the same format, Mr Joyce did not believe blanket standardisation could be applied to sales contracts.

Due to different requirements under the Strata Title Act, the type of documentation required varied from building to building, Mr Joyce said.

Inner City Housing Development Association president Laurance Goodman agreed standardisation of documentation would be difficult, however he said there was a real need in the sector for people to have thorough knowledge of what they were doing and what specific documentation was required.

While Mr Goodman said the majority of the project marketing sector was experienced and competent, and many off-the-plan sales contracts were reliant on a willing buyer and willing seller.

“There are many contracts that wouldn’t hold up in court if the vendor chose to break the contract,” he said.

This situation could cause difficulties when the market became less buoyant than current levels, Mr Goodman said.

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