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Perth’s challenge to attract more people 03/06/2017

Last week UDIA invited property expert Colin Keane to discuss his thoughts on the Perth property market moving forward.

Last week UDIA invited property expert Colin Keane to discuss his thoughts on the Perth property market moving forward.

Colin is Director of Research 4; the company behind UDIA’s highly regarded annual National State of the Land Report. He has detailed knowledge of the national economy, as well as the house and land market in all states, so provided a balanced and informed interpretation of what is happening here in Western Australia.

Colin made the call that Perth has reached the bottom of this property market cycle and prices would steady over the next 18 months or so before hitting the next growth phase.

Colin believes the challenge for Perth is attracting and keeping more people in WA for the purpose of economic prosperity, in turn, boosting demand for property.

According to Colin’s presentation, there are four primary demand leavers that attract people to a place. These are visitors, education, family and employment. In WA, our focus has been on employment, particularly in the mining industry, to attract people to the state and, in turn, boost demand for property. In fact, for every 100 people employed in WA, that equates to 38 land sales.

This reliance on employment, particularly at a time of higher unemployment and less secure employment conditions, needs to be diversified.

By working on increasing the number of visitors and overseas students coming to Perth, who often bring with them family and friends who may invest in property, we lessen our reliance on employment as a standalone driver of demand for property.

By improving ‘brand Perth’ we could entice more interstate and overseas visitors, which is something the Melbourne and Sydney markets recognised and started to capitalise on years ago.

In terms of increasing overseas education opportunities in Perth, Colin believes that many of these students may choose to then remain in Perth after their studies. Many also influence family and friends to move to, or invest in, the Perth property market. Overseas education has not only provided increased demand for property in Sydney and Melbourne, it has also enhanced the vibrancy and viability of the inner city, where student housing and campuses have attracted more people to the city, boosting local businesses and the broader economy.

There are certainly opportunities to do the same here in Perth, with scope for more education facilities in the city, which could both boost the economy and enhance Perth as a vibrant, 24/7 destination.

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