WA's housing market gets a $15.45m infusion for 1,500 new apartments
WA Govt allocates almost fourteen million dollars for transfer duty concessions, providing relief for apartment buyers. Image: Canva.
  • WA Government extends off-the-plan transfer duty concessions to include apartments under construction.
  • $15.45M boost supports 15 infill projects, delivering 1,500 new apartments.
  • $80 million Infrastructure Development Fund for development costs associated with infrastructure.

The Western Australian (WA) government has announced new support for the state’s housing supply, extending present off-the-plan transfer duty concessions to include apartments under construction.

An investment worth $13.9 million, this announcement provides a much-needed boost for WA’s home buyers, marred by one of the lowest vacancy rates in the country.

New concessions offered by the Cook Government

Australians who purchase apartments under construction and sign an eligible contract will be awarded transfer duty concessions of up to 75% of the presently existing concessions for off-the-plan purchases, capped at $50,000.

These are the tiers that apply for the duty concession:

  • 75% of duty payable for properties valued up to $650,000.
  • 75% sliding to 37.5% of duty payable for properties valued between $650,000 and $750,000.
  • 37.5% of duty payable for properties valued at $750,000 or more.

The concession will be accessible for homes bought between 31 August 2023 and  30 June 2025, following the current off-the-plan transfer duty concession.

“This $13.9 million investment builds on the State Government’s $750 million package in the 2023-2024 State Budget to boost housing supply across Western Australia,” said Finance Minister, Sue Ellery.

“The extension of the duty concession provides significant transfer duty relief for people who purchase apartments in new developments after construction commences.

“Together with the existing off-the-plan transfer duty concession, these measures provide some of the most generous support in the country to support people in purchasing apartments, to boost housing supply and encourage urban infill.”

The concessions will give buyers significant reprieve when home prices remain significantly elevated from pre-COVID-19 levels. For instance, a $650,000 apartment will be eligible for a reduction in transfer duty of $18,668.

Boost for infill developments to add more apartments

The Cook Government also pledged an additional $15.45 million boost to support 15 infill developments, creating more than 1,500 new apartments for WA’s housing market.

The $80 million Infrastructure Development Fund delivers funding to assist with the upfront costs associated with connecting important utilities like water, electricity, and sewerage infrastructure, which have inhibited development and made housing projects less viable.

“Right across the country we are seeing significant pressure on our housing markets – and the best way to tackle the issue is to bring more housing online,” said WA Premier, Roger Cook.

“Our Infrastructure Development Fund will help to deliver thousands of additional new apartments into the market.

“These initiatives will help home buyers get into apartments, bringing down the cost of purchasing a new apartment.”

Half of the fund will be allotted for infill developments in metropolitan Perth, while the other $40 million will be set aside for workers’ accommodation in the regions.

So far, around $22 million has been given to the infill stream of the fund, supporting 27 projects and the construction of nearly 2,200 apartments. Meanwhile, $12 million has been allocated to three projects in the worker accommodation stream, which will deliver about 500 dwellings in Kalgoorlie, Broome, and Shark Bay.

Applications for the fund will remain open until 6 September 2024 or when the funds are expended.

WA Government’s commitment to alleviating the housing crisis

These initiatives expand upon the State Government’s $750 million housing package in the 2023-24 State Budget, with the goals of growing the state’s infill housing supply.

“Our Government is doing everything we can to boost medium and high-density dwellings, which will be critical in meeting the future demand for housing in Western Australia,” said Planning and Housing Minister, John Carey.

“Density drives vibrancy, life, and street activity, which helps create a real sense of place – for both locals and tourists alike.

“Density delivers foot traffic for small business and helps to keep local schools, libraries, and other community services and groups – like playgroups – open and thriving.

“More importantly density provides housing choice – and it attracts younger people and families to ageing suburbs.

“The $80 million Infrastructure Development Fund is a key part of our Government’s efforts to help the industry with significant up-front costs involved in establishing essential infrastructure for housing developments – which we know has delayed projects throughout WA.

“All of these programs will encourage more infill development, particularly in strategic locations that are close to public transport, like the new train stations being delivered through our METRONET program.”

“This is a welcomed announcement by the state government,” Cygnet West director of valuation research and advisory, Quyen Quach told The Property Tribune.

“Perth definitely needs more infill, and in the past three years, it has been very difficult to get high-density projects to stack up financially due to the labour shortage and escalating cost of delivery,”

“Calendar year 2022 saw one of the lowest levels of new supply of apartments in the past 25 years, at a time when the residential vacancy was at one of lowest points, and the state saw one of the largest volumes to population expansion in the state’s history.

“So, in addition to policies to improve construction sector capacity, the state needs more policies to help the private sector deliver more medium and high-density dwellings to the inner and middle suburbs of Metropolitan Perth over the next decade.”

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