Property prices keep rising

PERTH housing prices have overtaken those of Melbourne, making our city the second most expensive in the nation, behind Sydney, in which to buy a house. Figures released from national property monitor Residex reveal the median house price in Perth has hit $406,500, surpassing Melbourne’s median of $379,000. Stand-alone houses priced below $300,000 are now a rare find, prompting calls from the Real Estate Institute of WA, WA Chamber of Commerce and the state opposition for the state government to index the stamp duty threshold for first home owners to reflect the median house price. Currently, first home buyers do not have to pay stamp duty on property worth $250,000 or less. Land prices are also in the spotlight, with blocks now commanding an average of $218,000, representing a 34 per cent jump in value within 12 months. Property Council of WA executive Joe Lenzo said the government must fast-track the reintroduction of the developer land tax concession, abolished by the Business Tax Review in 2003, in order to boost land supplies and reduce prices.

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