Medium density a slow sell
WESTERN Australia has recorded the lowest proportion of medium-density housing as a percentage of total dwelling approvals of any mainland state for the year to March 2017.
Bankwest's annual Housing Density Report, released earlier this month, found just 26.9 per cent of approvals in WA were for medium-density housing, significantly lower than NSW at 60.6 per cent and Victoria (46.9 per cent) of total approvals. WA also came in behind Queensland (45.3 per cent) and South Australia (28.7 per cent).
While the proportion of medium-density housing approvals has remained above the 20-year state average of 19.8 per cent (see graph), WA still falls significantly behind the national average, where 48.8 per cent of total dwelling approvals in Australia were for medium-density housing in the year to March 2017.
Urban Development Institute of Australia WA chief executive Allison Hailes said the Sydney and Melbourne markets largely drove the national result, due to the relative scarcity of land and high house prices in those states. Collectively, NSW and Victoria accounted for more than half (64 per cent) the country's medium-density housing stock in 2016, with WA representing just 8 per cent.
"Many purchasers in Perth are looking for the affordability and lifestyle that houses in the outer suburbs offer, and we need to ensure a balanced approach to housing supply," Ms Hailes told Business News.
"Housing approvals generally have fallen, including for medium-density development in WA, as developers cut back on supply to be more in line with current demand.
"However, the Bankwest report does confirm there is a growing market for medium-density housing in our inner and middle-ring suburbs, and particularly those with high levels of amenity, good access to public transport and community services."
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