PRIOR to the election, the new Labor government committed to introducing a tax on foreign investors.
Residential West asked local agents how this might affect the local property market.
Acton Dalkeith and Cottesloe director Grant Heymans said the proposed tax would have more of an impact on off-the-plan and new apartment sales, but a very minor impact on established properties for sale.
Growth Realty principal Enzo Pagnozzi said it would depend on the amount of tax imposed on foreign buyers.
“Most foreign buyers are seeking a quality investment in a safe, well-regulated market,” he said.
“They are also less price sensitive than local buyers and our Subiaco market and surrounding suburbs offer excellent value, with our local taxation laws generally more favourable than other international markets.”
Blackburne managing director Paul Blackburne said foreign investment was not a large part of the Perth market and should be encouraged.
“Unlike the east coast, Perth has very few foreign investors and I think we should be doing all we can to attract foreign investment,” he said.
“(They) may only be 10-20 per cent of a project, however those sales are important in being able to get presales on projects so that they can get funding and commence construction.
“This creates thousands of jobs.
“Higher taxes on foreign investors buying property in WA will greatly reduce the small but important foreign investment we currently have.”
Rather than tackling foreign investment, Mr Heymans, Mr Pagnozzi and Mr Blackburne felt there were other issues the new government should address.
Mr Heymans said clients were hesitant to make property decisions as a result of uncertainty about the economy, the political landscape and dramatic changes to tax laws involving property.
“We haven’t seen this general apathy in the past 10 years,” he said.
“If Labor provides clear direction, clients can act and plan accordingly.
“This may encourage them to transact again and look to the future.”
Mr Pagnozzi would like the new government to encourage market activity through affordability measures.
“Housing affordability is an ongoing challenge for first-home buyers,” he said.
“As first-home buyer activity often precedes growth in the market, it makes good economic sense for any State Government to incentivise first-home buyers and decrease barriers to entry.”
Mr Blackburne said WA needed more jobs.
“Property and construction can become a major driver to create more jobs,” he said.
“To do this we need to reduce stamp duty for off-the-plan purchasers, which will incentivise people to buy off the plan and create thousands of new jobs.
“It will also help create higher density living around train stations and town centres which will have a range of benefits, including reduced traffic congestion, less urban sprawl and associated infrastructure costs and help transform Perth into a truly cosmopolitan international city.”