First home buyers are being drawn back into the Perth property market, supporting prices in beachside suburbs that promise a postcard-perfect lifestyle. But property buyers will be picky and vendors will need to pitch their properties properly.
The first home buyer market in Perth was largely put on hold when rumours of stamp duty relief were circulating in late 2006. By the time it was confirmed that no duty would apply to homes under $500,000 in the May budget, the pent-up demand was enormous.
In the two weeks after the announcement about 1700 houses were sold. Figures released by the ABS more recently, in early August, show that the proportion of loans for first home buyers in the June quarter increased from 20% to 24%.
So what is the first home buyer looking for? One of my ideas that still holds firm is the “bikini principle”. This concept simply means that regardless of price range, buyers are very keen to seek out properties in beachside suburbs. The freeway and new rail developments mean that properties as far as 15–20 kilometres from the city are in demand.
In Perth’s south this includes Warnbro and Waikiki. You can buy a substantial brick and tile home in these areas for less than $450,000. The area is fully serviced by shopping centres and schools, there’s a rail link to the city and the beach is within 500 metres. I believe a decision to buy property in this region is going to set the first home buyer up for life.
North of Perth, older style houses under $500,000 can still be found in Greenwood, Warwick and Duncraig. These regions are a little further from the coast, but close enough for a quick surf and are equally well serviced by train lines and the freeway.
A full version of this article first appeared in Eureka Report.