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Is there enough land to go around?

It’s become apparent that builders in Western Australia can expect a busy year ahead. From record-breaking dwelling approvals to all-time high commencements, the WA home-building market is looking strong. In fact, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA), the home loan figures for last year indicate a solid few months ahead.

HIA Executive Director for Western Australia, John Gelavis noted in a February 12 statement that since the decline of the mining sector in the state, WA has increasingly been leaning on its home building sector to prop up the local economy. Home building activity has not only done that, but has addressed other state-wide issues, such as housing affordability and availability at a time of nation-wide concern.

“WA’s housing industry had an exceptionally strong year during 2014. The latest lending figures indicate that we will see continued strong activity in new home building over the coming months,” said Mr Gelavis.

However, an issue of increasing concern is the supply of land. Without sufficient access to land that is ready for development, rising costs for home ownership are bound to ensue. It’s important for consumers to remember that the affordability of housing is directly related to the cost of land.

“It is important that land supply policy across Australia is consistent with the goal of housing affordability. The process of delivering new land supply and the requisite infrastructure for new housing is currently too slow and too expensive,” commented HIA Senior Economist Shane Garrett.

“It appears that shovel-ready residential land is starting to dry up against the backdrop of record new home building activity. Policymakers have to intervene in order to allow for Australia’s long term housing needs to be met.”

According to the latest HIA-RP Data Residential Land Report, Western Australia has three of the top 10 most expensive regional markets for residential land – an indication of the value of land out here. As land becomes more scarce, it is a prime time to get into the market and secure your own block for your luxury home in Perth.

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