Higher density housing withstands WA economic downturn

Higher density housing withstands WA economic downturn

BUILDING approvals for freestanding homes continue to outnumber those for medium-density properties in WA, but the State’s appetite for new stand-alone housing has waned during the economic downturn.

Bankwest’s Housing Density Report reveals approvals for freestanding homes fell 12.9 per cent to 21,104 in the year to November 2015.

In comparison, the number of approvals for units, townhouses and semi-detached houses was largely unchanged, rising just 0.4 per cent to 8001 on the back of record 35.7 per cent record growth in 2014.

Bankwest Private Banking general manager Greg Caust said it was encouraging to see there was still some growth in the medium-density space.

“The resilience in this development would be underpinned by the expectation of solid population growth in Perth over the next decade,” he said.

“Perth’s population is forecast to grow by 33 per cent to 2.8 million in 2025, bringing an extra 700,000 people into the city.”

Perth accounted for nearly all of WA’s medium-density housing approvals, with the highest proportion occurring in the city, followed by South Perth and Belmont Victoria Park.

While the proportion of the State’s medium-density housing approvals increased slightly to 27.5 per cent in the 12 months to November 2015, WA remains well behind the national average of 50 per cent.

Across Australia, there were 115,731 medium-density housing approvals (33.9 per cent growth) and 115,758 approvals for stand-alone homes (1.5 per cent growth).

Mr Caust said the results reflected a long-term shift towards medium-density housing which showed no signs of abating.

“Medium-density housing offers a more affordable alternative to stand-alone housing and may help first-time buyers get into the property market – particularly in capital cities,” he said.

“I have no doubt medium-density approvals will shortly exceed approvals for stand-alone homes – not just occasionally, but on an ongoing basis.”

Top 10 areas for medium-density housing approvals in WA

Perth City: 1155 approvals (86.8pc of total approvals)

South Perth: 576 approvals (77.1pc of total approvals)

Belmont Victoria Park: 1014 approvals (74.2pc of total approvals)

Pilbara: 91 approvals (65pc of total approvals)

Stirling: 1517 approvals (64.5pc of total approvals)

Fremantle: 162 approvals (59.3pc of total approvals)

Bayswater Bassendean: 459 approvals (55.2pc of total approvals)

Canning: 247 approvals (36pc of total approvals)

Cockburn: 628 approvals (32.2pc of total approvals)

Gosnells: 315 approvals (24.6pc of total approvals)

Source: Bankwest Housing Density Report