03/02/2010 - 09:34

South West land on most expensive list

03/02/2010 - 09:34

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Residential land in the South West region of the state is among the 10 most expensive regions across the country as land prices in Perth dipped 0.7 per cent in the September quarter, a new report shows.

South West land on most expensive list

Residential land in the South West region of the state is among the 10 most expensive regions across the country as land prices in Perth dipped 0.7 per cent in the September quarter, a new report shows.

The latest Housing Industry Association and RP Data residential land report showed that the median land price in the South West had surged 85 per cent over the past year to the end of September 2009 to $158,250.

Land in the region was reported as the nation's ninth most expensive regional market, with the Richmond-Tweed area in NSW the most expensive at $255,500.

Nationally, the median land price climbed 5.7 per cent over the September quarter to a record $181,158, with Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart and Melbourne all recording increases.

Median prices in resource capitals Perth and Brisbane dipped, with the latter falling by 1.7 per cent.

Nationally, volumes of residential land sales jumped 33 per cent.

HIA chief economist Harley Dale said the latest figures confirmed there will be a lift in new home starts in 2010.

"The million dollar question is whether a new home building recovery can be sustained beyond this year. If land is not released in a timely manner in sufficient quantity, then land prices will continue surging and the answer will be a resounding no," he said.

According to RP Data national research director Tim Lawless, land supply constraints continue to persist at a time when demand for housing continues to grow, which can be attributed to extremely high levels of population growth.

He said it was clear that both sides of politics believe that a bigger Australia is a better Australia however land supply needs to be sufficient to cater to the housing demands of all new Australians who are anticipated to move to the country in coming years.

"We believe that policy makers must act to provide additional residential land which is affordable as well as being close to necessary amenities," Mr Lawless said.

"We have seen interest rates increased a number of times now by the RBA as well as the full removal of the First Home Buyers Grant Boost as at the end of 2009. Increasing interest rates along with the removal of the First Home Buyers Grant Boost are expected to result in demand from the first home buyer sector diminishing significantly during 2010 after reaching historical highs during 2009.

"With an anticipation that first home buyer activity will fall back to „normal‟ levels during 2010 we expect that investors should return to the market due to less competition from first time buyers and higher interest rates which generally don‟t impact investors as much as other sectors of the market.

"Residential property investor numbers have already begun to increase during recent months with the value of investor finance commitments increasing by 9.6 per cent since recording their recent low in July 2009."

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