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Keeping a Close Watch on Perth Property

Property in Melbourne and Sydney often hog  the limelight, but savvy and seasoned investors are keeping a close watch on the West Australian city of Perth.

West Australian property is proving its broad appeal, with new figures from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) revealing a total of 2043 approvals for foreign buyers, an increase of almost 30% from the 1572 in the previous financial year.

To recap, Victoria topped the list with 16,775 approvals, followed by NSW with 12,349 and Queensland with 5023, with a big number of approvals for overseas buyers from the Chinese.

The Numbers are Looking Good

In the not too distant past, news had circulated of the mining slump adversely affecting Perth’s economy and softening the housing market. However, sales volume data up to March 2016 show signs of a bounce in consumer confidence. It appears that the property market is close to or at the bottom of the cycle with industry experts predicting a cautiously optimistic outlook for Perth in 2016.

This chimes with official figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) which show a 0.5% jump in Perth’s residential property prices in the December 2015 quarter, marking an end to the trend of sliding property prices recorded since late 2013.

“The performance of the housing market is tied to the economy, which is reflected in unemployment rates/employment opportunities,” says CSI Properties (Cornerstone International) spokesman Virata Thaivasigamony.

“And, here’s the thing: all that negative predictions of a boom or bust in the WA economy that has been going around, has not been reflected in employment stats. In reality, Perth’s economy is more diversified and not solely driven by the mining industry as people make it out to be.

“ABS’ labour force figures for March 2016 show WA’s unemployment rate had fallen to 5.5% — which is below the national unemployment rate of 5.7%. Of course Australia’s economic performance in general is tied to the global economy, but from these numbers, the WA economy isn’t a lost cause and the reason why the Perth property market hasn’t tanked drastically as has been predicted,” Virata adds, citing Melbourne as yet another city that has defied years of doomsaying.

According to ABS, WA’s unemployment rate is lower than Victoria’s (5.7%), Queensland’s (6.1%), South Australia’s (7.%) and Tasmania’s (6.8%), and marginally higher than NSW’s (5.3%).

Meanwhile, Perth’s population is expected to increase by 70% to 3.5 million by 2050. ABS statistics show that Perth’s population growth is scheduled to overtake Brisbane by 2028, becoming the third largest city in Australia. Wise investors are looking to leverage on this growth by investing in strategically located property at currently affordable prices (while there is little competition among buyers) in order to achieve strong capital growth in the coming decades. Note that prices of inner city property is far more affordable than a similarly located project in Sydney.

10 Years Rental Assurance

Investors looking to also benefit both in the short term (rental income) and long term (capital growth) can apply for the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), a joint Australia and WA Government initiative to increase the supply of new affordable rental dwellings in WA.

Under the NRAS, applicants can apply for annual incentives to buy and rent their homes to low and moderate income households (tenants must be approved by Australian Government).

NRAS landlords rest assured that their property will be the first pick among the rental community as the property must be rented at a 20% discount. However, this amount is paid back by the government to the landlord as an incentive. These incentives, totalling over A$100K, is tax-free.

In fact, these incentives are worth more than the discount given, which essentially means the landlords benefit a great deal at the end of the day.

Landlords end up with a 7.2% gross rental yield vs a typical property which generates only 4% – 5%. This also means that investors are essentially assured of rental for 10 years at a higher return.

Call us at 03-2162 2260 to learn more about Perth property, discuss options or how you can be part of the NRAS programme.

CSI Properties (Cornerstone International) proudly markets international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and purpose-built student property in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc); Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane) and Thailand (Bangkok). Our projects are concentrated in high-growth areas with great educational, infrastructural and job growth potentials. We aspire to make a difference in the lives of our clients by helping them achieve their investment goals through strong market research backed by third party experts and due diligence.

Disclaimer: Cornerstone International does not provide tax & legal advice and accepts no liability. Readers are encouraged to consult a qualified tax or legal advisor for a thorough review.

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