WA property market braces for heavy migration of East Coast buyers

In the 10 years before the COVID-19 pandemic, Western Australian estate agent Graeme Baxter sold two, or at most three, properties to buyers living on the east coast.

In the past 12 months, he’s sold nearly 40, and all — thanks to that impenetrable border — on sight.

“I’ve been in this industry for a long time and I’ve never experienced this level of investigation and selling to people on the east coast,” says Baxter, manager of ACTON Mandurah, on the southwest coast 72 kilometers away. from the Perth CBD.

“I think we’ve had a pretty good run with COVID, our economy is good, we have low unemployment, and our property is very affordable, especially with interest rates so low. Many of our units, for example, cost half the price of those in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. »

Interest in the Perth property market from east coast buyers has reached an all time high. Photo: GordonBellPhotography

Western Australia has certainly never featured so prominently in the investment landscape for all Australians.

Investors are now particularly eyeing units along the west coast with this promising price gap.

According to the last Estate House Price Report, Perth’s median apartment price is the third lowest in the country at $380,353 – up 8.4% from last year – barely above Adelaide at $380,349 and Darwin at $326,159.

This Perth price contrasts dramatically with Sydney’s $802,255, Melbourne’s $593,387 and Brisbane’s $416,033, while Mandurah’s beachfront units compare even more favorably, at a median of $245,000. $, up 6.5% from December 2020.

But most locals expect prices to rise even more sharply in the next year, especially after the border opens.

“We expect an influx of people from the east coast, with a massive migration to Western Australia,” says Daniel Ranshaw, property consultant at Perth agency Hub Residential.

“There really isn’t a lot of property to let for them, so we’ll see that will drive up the price of apartments, with those on the seafront being particularly expensive. We are short of manpower, so we provide lots of jobs and resources to people and they will come to take advantage of it.

The lure of buying a beachfront apartment will be particularly strong, with plenty of beachfront available on the Swan River, from Perth east to the western suburbs, from Crawley and Claremont to Fremantle, as well as beaches.

Domain Prestige Property Investor March 16 WA Waterfronts
Investors are now particularly looking at units along the west coast. Photo: Richard Jacyno

“As the old saying goes, they don’t do much more waterfront land,” says Perth-based property adviser Damian Collins of Momentum Wealth.

“Also, apartment living in Perth is still in its infancy; far behind Sydney and Melbourne.

“But now we find that a lot of baby boomers want to live there so they can lock themselves in and leave whenever they want, and the younger ones like the lifestyle too.

“We’re unlikely to ever have oversupply like some parts of the east coast, and I think they’ll be doing very well over the next decade.”

In Mandurah, rents are up 20%, Baxter says, and yields are at a healthy 5-6%.

“We have very high demand for rental properties and little supply, with a low vacancy rate as a result,” he says.

“You can see why so many east coast people shop here. I’m originally from Sydney but the best part of Sydney is when the plane takes off for the flight back here.”