12/11/2008 - 22:00

Positive signs for sales

12/11/2008 - 22:00

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RESIDENTIAL developers are beginning to see the effects of sliding interest rates and boosts to the first homeowners grant, with some recording a significant increase in traffic through sales offices.

Positive signs for sales

RESIDENTIAL developers are beginning to see the effects of sliding interest rates and boosts to the first homeowners grant, with some recording a significant increase in traffic through sales offices.

Banksia Grove general manager Tony Naughtin said since the federal government announced the raising of the first homeowners grant, there had been a noticeable increase in sales enquiries, which had almost ground to a halt a couple of months ago.

"Initially there was a bit of hesitation, but in the past two weeks there definitely has been a big increase in the number of people coming through the sales office and the number of sales," he said.

Mr Norton much of the new enquiry had come from first home buyers, with sales picking up at about the same rate.

Stockland WA general manager Graham McArthur said he had also seen an increase in sales within the company's residential estates in recent months.

"There has been a rise in confidence among first home buyers within the south-west and south-east corridors, with both experiencing an increase in buyers looking to build their first home close to the city," Mr McArthur said.

In addition to the $21,000 first homeowners grant for new homes, developers are also offering incentives including discounted blocks, cash rebates, landscaping, reticulation and IT packages.

Urban Development Institute of Australia WA chief executive Debra Goostrey said there were positive signs going into 2009.

She said a number of housing industry sectors, including builders, developers and mortgage brokers, were noticing a strong upturn in interest in the past month.

But, she added, the upturn wouldn't be seen in the key statistical data, such as housing starts and land sales, until at least the December quarter of 2008 and into the first quarter of 2009.

"Land prices are coming off and people who are getting in early are getting the best bargains," she said. "Long term, WA has a terrific outlook. We have strong net migration, strong family formation rates and strong population growth."

The outlook comes as Australian Property Monitors released its official September 2008 quarter housing data this week, which showed Perth median house price fell 3.4 per cent to $478,094 for the quarter and 6.7 per cent compared to September 2007.

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