Coastal land popular

Coastal living is becoming a reality for an increasing number of Perth residents.

With a mixture of suburban and rare coastal products, developments from Alkimos up to Yanchep and Two Rocks are attracting strong demand for land with sales volumes in the City of Wanneroo up 24 per cent in the first half of 2013. More people are translating into more shops, schools and other community facilities, all of which service residents.

Despite the amenity and coastal lifestyle on offer, the average land price was an affordable $223,000. When combined with lower interest rates and increasing average wages, this makes coastal living something of a bargain.

The good news for buyers is there are a range of blocks available and many more under construction according to UDIA’s survey of major developments in the City.

One of the development hotspots close to the ocean is Yanchep. Earlier this year, Capricorn Yanchep won the National UDIA Award for Best Residential Development, with its beachside location and well-established local facilities a standout.

The Alkimos-Eglinton area is undergoing a rapid transformation and is planned to provide major commercial and employment opportunities, and is expected to accommodate another 20,000 people over the next ten years.

Further north, The Reef at Two Rocks is helping buyers of all budgets, with coastal blocks under $200,000.

New products provide community feel

Innovative developments are increasingly attracting a diversity of buyers. Established developments in Perth’s north are offering smaller lots and innovative housing design, as well as large homesites, which allows multiple generations to live in the same community.

Developers are constantly looking at ways to cater for different buyers’ needs, even bringing house and land packages on the market for sub-$300k. This type of product is attracting singles and couples who might otherwise have continued renting, and older generations wishing to downsize.

Banksia Grove offers a range of affordable options, including smaller sized lots for townhouse and apartment living and larger blocks with easy access to established shopping, education and sporting facilities.

A number of communities are nestled amongst native bushland, providing an appealing amenity for many purchases, particularly those establishing themselves on the larger, vegetated ‘bush blocks’ on offer close to the coast.

In the City of Swan, land sales are up more than 60 per cent, with developers having to bring forward land releases to meet strong demand.

Developments in the Swan area include Highland Reserve and Avon Ridge which offer a range of semi-rural lifestyle lots in a bushland landscape, and the Vale in Aveley which offers relaxed living surrounded by lakes and parklands.

Sales Activity – North Metropolitan 

Local Authority Change in Lot Sales Average Price Average Size (m2) Share of Metro Sales
City of Wanneroo Up 24% $223,000 418 25.6%
City of Joondalup Down 10% $477,000 546 2.3%
City of Swan Up 62% $232,000 425 22.0%

Lot Availability – North Metropolitan

Local Authority Lots on the Market (months) Change in Stock Levels
City of Wanneroo 2.0 Up 14%
City of Joondalup 2.5 Down 41%
City of Swan 1.0 Down 25%

Diversity drives land sales in Perth’s south-east 

Perth’s south-east is becoming a key land development destination with the suburbs Piara Waters and Harrisdale coming in second and sixth on the list of most blocks sold in 2012. Key players Satterley Property Group, LandCorp, Peet Limited, Cedar Woods, Stockland and PRM Property Group, amongst others, are providing a diversity of product between the Tonkin Hwy and Kwinana Fwy.

The south-east corridor is also a popular destination for first home buyers with Canning Vale, Piara Waters, Southern River and Harrisdale all making the top 20 first home buyer suburbs in 2012/13.

LandCorp General Manager Metropolitan, Luke Willcock, believes the south east region is growing in popularity due to well serviced transport connections to Perth city and surrounding areas and access to a wide range of community amenities.

“The emerging amenities and attractions of Armadale are also helping to fuel the population of this region.”

LandCorp’s Champion Lakes is one of a number of developments that cater for a diverse range of lifestyles.

“The estate caters for a diverse range of lifestyles. Purchasers can choose between smaller lots suited to more manageable lock-up-and-leave homes and larger lots that would ideally suit bigger families wanting more space,” said Mr Willcock.

“Residents can enjoy a number of recreational activities situated right on their doorstep. The five kilometre pathway around the 2,000 metre international-standard rowing course is ideal for walking, cycling or running and the public swimming beach is a great spot for younger children. They can also kayak on the lake or enjoy a barbecue in the waterfront parklands.”

Coastal location and affordability

With some of Perth’s lowest priced lots and an attractive ocean lifestyle it’s little wonder that sales of lots in Rockingham are going from strength to strength.

The City of Rockingham had the second lowest average block price in the first half of 2013 at $181,000. Sales have more than doubled compared to 12 months ago, with one in five metro blocks sold located within the City’s boundaries.

The most popular land development suburb in Australia, Baldivis, is driving much of the region’s sales. Baldivis recorded just under 1,000 land sales in 2012, far outstripping land markets in the rest of Australia.

Baldivis has quickly become home to more first home buyers than any other suburb in Western Australia. Baldivis increased from being the 14th most popular suburb in 2006 to 1st in 2010 and has remained in this position ever since.

David Simpson, Managing Director Rockingham Park Pty Ltd, which sells land at Parkland Heights and Heritage Park developments, believes it is easy to understand why buyers are choosing to buy land and build in Baldivis.

“With plenty of established retail and commercial amenity, award winning schools, a short drive to the beaches at Rockingham and Safety Bay, and easy access to the freeway and train, it really offers everything you need at an affordable price.

“Parkland Heights is unique as it offers buyers the benefits of semi-rural surroundings without having to compromise on convenience. Everything you need is right on your doorstep including beautifully landscaped active open spaces, a future village centre, public primary school and district playing field.”

Sales Activity – South Metropolitan

Local Authority Change in Lot Sales Average Price Average Size (m2) Share of Metro Sales
City of Armadale Up 89% $249,000 419 14.4%
Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale Up 36% $172,000 443 4.3%
City of Cockburn Down 16% $370,000 456 3.2%
Town of Kwinana Up 217% $190,000 432 7.9%
City of Rockingham Up 124% $181,000 428 19.5%

Lot Availability – South Metropolitan

Local Authority Lots on the Market (Months) Change in Stock Levels
City of Armadale 0.8 Down 24%
Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale 2.0 Up 20%
City of Cockburn 3.6 Up 108%
Town of Kwinana 0.5 Down 67%
City of Rockingham 1.7 Down 9%

South West market picking up

It’s early days, but confidence in property in the South West is improving. Developers sold 30 per cent more blocks of land in the first half of 2013, pushing down the number of blocks on the market.

It is common for regional property markets to experience deeper lows than the Perth metropolitan area as spending on holiday homes virtually ceases when the market turns down. But local economic factors remain at the core of the long-term outlook for regional areas, including the South West region.

The economic strength of a region and subsequent demand for housing can most easily be measured by looking at population growth. On this measure, the long-term outlook for the South West is reasonably strong.

The South West is expected to experience above average population growth over the next 15 years. Whilst Perth’s population is forecast to grow at between 1.6 and 2.0 per cent per annum between 2011 and 2026, the South West’s population is forecast to increase between 2.1 and 2.3 per cent, according to State Government’s WA Tomorrow publication.

A lot of this population growth is expected to be in the City of Busselton, which had the fastest growing population of any non-Perth local authority in 2011/12, with growth of 4.2 per cent. Expansion planned for Busselton Airport to allow international flights and further accommodate FIFO workers is expected to be a major tourism and economic driver in the Busselton region.

Harvey is also a regional hot spot with areas like Australind and Binningup providing lifestyle opportunities and a range of amenities.

Pilbara land supply boost

South Hedland’s property market is going through a big shake-up with numerous projects under construction and in the pipeline. It’s being driven by the WA Government’s Royalties for Regions scheme, with the long term aim of transforming Port and South Hedland into a vibrant cosmopolitan City of the North which will eventually support a permanent population of 50,000 people by 2035.

Elements by Cedar Woods is a new residential land estate in South Hedland, delivering 130 residential lots to the general community, resource sector, builders and project partners. Elements is close to the growing town centre of South Hedland, while remaining easily accessible to Port Hedland and the airport. The third and final release will take place in September 2013.

Cedar Woods has also been chosen as LandCorp’s preferred proponent for South Hedland’s Western Edge master planned community. Directly adjoining the existing South Hedland town centre, the entire Western Edge project, comprising 226 ha will include a diverse range of residential land uses, affordable housing types and amenity.

Cedar Woods State Manager WA, Stuart Duplock, believes that while the residential property market in the Pilbara has moderated in recent times, there remains a long-term, sustained demand for housing in South Hedland, driven by the State Governments Pilbara Cities and Royalties for Regions initiatives.

“The permanent population of South Hedland is growing at a healthy rate and demand for quality, modern, affordable housing from owner-occupiers remains strong.”

“Coupled with the significant current and future investments in infrastructure, people can see the potential of the South Hedland and Port Hedland communities as inclusive and vibrant places to live. This may be especially attractive for FIFO families who are looking for permanent housing and, in turn, the lifestyle and other benefits that come from being a part of a friendly, close knit community”

Sales Activity – Regional WA

Region Change in Lot Sales Average Price Average Size (m2)
Mandurah and Peel Up 93% $188,000 481
South West Up 30% $181,000 626
Great Southern Down 43% $156,000 807

Lot Availability – Regional WA

Region Lots on the Market (months) Change in Stock Levels
Mandurah and Peel 2.8 Up 1%
South West 4.1 Down 51%
Great Southern 46.7 Down 2.1%