property investor
Data suggests property investors are returning to the market. Image – Canva.
  • During the last booms in 2014 and 2006-07, investment lending peaked at $1B a month
  • During April, WA investor lending was $453M
  • This is up by $171M compared to April 2020

Damian Collins, President of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) has said that while investor finance is on the rise in the state, it is still far off the $1 billion a month investment lending figure that was last seen during the previous property market booms in 2014 and 2006-07.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)’s Lending indicators, released last week, showed new loan commitments rose to $31 billion nationally – a record high.

More specifically, investor lending in WA during April 2021 was $453 million – up by $171 million or 164% compared to April 2020. March 2021 also saw a significant year-on-year improvement at $441 million – up 94% compared to the $227 million figure recorded during the same month last year.

“The April 2021 figures are the best we have seen since December 2015 and considerably higher than this time last year,” said Mr Collins.

“Low levels of investor activity in WA are a key reason behind the state’s rental shortage. Property investors and the private rental market are essential to ensuring tenants can find appropriate housing.”

Damian Collins, REIWA President

Although Perth’s median house sale price increased to $510,000 in May, it is yet to reach the 2014 peak of $551,500, meaning many who have bought during the previous boom are yet to make gains.

“The past few years have been challenging for the WA rental market and during the downturn, a lot of property investors were impacted. Now that the rental moratorium is over and the property market is firmly in recovery mode, investor confidence is starting to return,” Mr Collins said.

“As investor levels increase and more available stock comes to market, this will help provide housing to tenants and ease the rental shortage. 

“There are also a lot of investors choosing to sell now that were unable to during the height of COVID-19. Once this wave of activity subsides, we will see more improvement.

“Although we are not out of the woods yet, it is encouraging to see some light at the end of the tunnel for the WA rental market,” Mr Collins said.

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