REIWA councillor Joe White expects the next five years to be an exciting time for the South-West.
“For the property sector, the curtain closes on 2017 with a greater sense of satisfaction than at any time in the last decade,” he said.
“Population growth, the fundamental element to every property market is showing a growth rate of 2.7 per cent for the South-West district as against 0.7 per cent for WA.
“This is nearly four times the state figure, so we are WA’s hot spot.”
Mr White said recent industry reports suggested a positive outlook for the WA property market and economy as a whole, while one commentator highlighted one part of the South-West in particular.
“Demographer Bernard Salt recently placed Busselton at number five in an Australian survey outlining towns in a ‘perfect storm’ for an improved property market,” he said.
“He also said it was one of the fastest growing business communities in the country.
“When you hear comments like these, along with other commentators all singing from the same song book, and most of all ‘in tune with each other’, the sounds for property owners are very sweet indeed.”
Looking back on 2017, Mr White said there were some positive trends in the South-West property market.
“The South-West rental market was steady with no change in the average weekly rental of $350 per week as against the metropolitan market which dropped from $380 per week to $350 per week,” he said.
“Good quality development sites are selling well, which indicates a growing confidence by developers.
“Self-funded retirees continue to feed the rental, construction and established home market as they move south, rent for a year while they build or find a house of their choice and then make the big move.”
When it came to property purchases, Mr White said houses with self-contained wings were attracting interest with purchasers considering Airbnb as an option to supplement less than sufficient retirement nest eggs.
“Questions about running costs, with reference to solar panels, efficient design and low water use were becoming more common as people assessed the price of living in a house more carefully,” he said.
Mr White said one of the key factors to impact the South-West market in the future would be technology- driven employment. “It has destroyed the old paradigm of ‘living where you have to work’,” he said
“In many cases you can live where you want, as work is a keyboard stroke away.
“With the exponential effects of technology on our spectacular, but until now remote corner of the globe, I can see the next five years being a really exciting time both economically and socially for the South West.” n