These two suburbs located between the Tonkin Hwy and Kwinana Fwy has featured prominently over the last five years, increasing its share to 6.3 per cent of all Perth metropolitan subdivisions in 2011/12.

With key players like Satterley Property Group, Peet, Cedar Woods, Stockland and PRM Property Group selling land in the region, its population grew at an annualised 42 per cent between 2006 and 2011.

To understand just how new the area is, 95 per cent of the population in Harrisdale and Piara Waters reported that they moved to the area between 2006 and 2011.

Whilst Forrestdale is not currently a land development destination, the Bureau of Statistics groups these three suburbs together; and we have done the same throughout the rest of this article.

Key Stats (2011 Census) F/H/P-W Perth
Population 7,459 1,728,867
Occupied private dwellings 2,460 627,096
Median age 29 36
Median household income (weekly) $2,116 $1,459
Average household size 2.90 2.55
Proportion houses 99.1% 78.6%
Unemployment rate 3.3% 4.8%
Participation rate 79.6% 64.5%
Lived at same address five years ago 15.5% 54.2%

Table 1 – Region characteristics (source: ABS Census)

Similar to another land development hotspot in southern Perth – Baldivis – the majority of residents in 2011 were married with children. The head of the household was likely to be aged between 25 and 34 years of age, have two children, and live in a detached house. But unlike Baldivis, houses in this region are generally larger with three quarters of homes with four or more bedrooms.

The relative proximity to the Perth CBD (25-30kms) means that a larger proportion of the workforce (31 per cent) was categorised as professionals or managers – a slightly larger proportion than newer suburbs located further south. Technicians and trades workers (18.3 per cent) and clerical/administrative workers (18.3 per cent) were also prominent.

These suburbs also house a higher proportion of people born overseas, with English-born residents making up nearly one tenth of the population.

In 2009, on the back of the FHOG Boost, building activity reached record levels of over 800 dwellings. Although levels have declined, they remain at relatively strong levels of around 13 houses per week (approx. 680 per annum).

Housing construction is expected to pick up in 2013 on the back of strong land sales. According to preliminary settlements data, Piara Waters has sold the second most number of vacant blocks in 2012, followed closely by Harrisdale in sixth place.

New vacant block – 2012 1st quartile Median 2nd quartile
Land price $227,000 $245,500 $263,000

Table 2 – Vacant land characteristics (source: UDIAWA, Landgate)

Although vacant land prices in the region are on par with the Perth median, Harrisdale and Piara Waters continue to remain top destinations for first home buyers, featuring fourth and fourteenth, respectively, in 2012/13 according to the latest FHOG data. Monthly sales volumes to first home buyers in Piara Waters and Harrisdale were up 18.7 and 13.6 per cent, respectively, in 2012/13 compared to 2011/12.

The region is not a significant rental destination, however, the larger homes attract rents in excess of the Perth median.

F/H/P-W Perth
Proportion renting 13.2% 27.6%
Median house rent (2012) $520 $460
Median house price (2012) $530,000 $485,000
Indicative gross yield – houses 5.1% 4.9%

Table 3 – Rental market characteristics (source: UDIAWA, Landgate, REIWA)