Rush as developers bring forward lots

Estuarine crocodiles like Simmo can launch half their body length out of the water.
Estuarine crocodiles like Simmo can launch half their body length out of the water.

Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA) senior economist Tim Connoley said one in four lots sold across the Perth and Peel regions in the first quarter of 2013 were within Wanneroo’s boundaries.

‘The north-west corridor (which includes the City of Wanneroo and City of Joondalup) remained the most active region for land development in the March quarter, driven by activity in the City of Wanneroo,’ Mr Connoley said.

Mr Connoley said developers were bringing land onto the market earlier to keep up with demand.

‘The number of lots brought onto the market in the City of Wanneroo during the March quarter was up 49 per cent compared to 12 months ago (averaging 52 lots each week during the March quarter),’ Mr Connoley said.

‘Increased land development, and subsequently sales, was in part driven by activity in Alkimos-Eglinton area which is expected to accommodate another 20,000 people over the next 10 years.

‘Lend Lease’s Alkimos Beach estate began selling land in January this year, joining Peet’s Shorehaven estate, LWP’s Trinity estate and Stockland’s Amberton estate.’

On average, lots across Wanneroo sold for $219,000 while in the City of Joondalup, the average price was $469,000, which Mr Connoley attributed to the number of coastal lots available.

Land developers brought forward new land releases in the March quarter to help meet increasing demand for new dwellings in Perth that has pushed volumes to their highest level since 2006.

UDIA WA chief executive Debra Goostrey said despite the early land releases, which averaged 200 lots across the region each week in the March quarter, supply was not keeping up with demand as developers sold on average 225 lots a week that quarter.

‘Despite land developers bringing onto the market lots at their faster rate in seven years, demand is outstripping supply in Perth,’ Ms Goostrey said.

‘Since September 2011, land sales have more than doubled and the number of lots on the market in Perth has declined 41 per cent from 2011 highs.

‘We have seen the market balance change dramatically over the last 18 months, encouraged by aggressive rate cuts by the Reserve Bank and a sustained shortage of rental properties driving more people into home ownership.

‘Increased demand for new dwellings in Perth has also coincided with record population growth in WA.’

Ms Goostrey said that while there were three times as many lots available than during the peak of the boom in 2006, the land development industry was facing significant hurdles and Perth might face land shortages within the next 12 months.