A leading home expert says recent legislative changes in WA will help to make a real difference in the state’s housing market, and allow the real estate sector to shine again.
Managing director of Gemmill Homes, Craig Gemmill, said the WA government has made “crucial” changes to the state’s Keystart loan scheme, setting new income limits, with eligibility for singles increasing from $90,000 to $105,000 and couples from $115,000 to $130,000.
Mr Gemmill said the changes allow the state to realise its potential, with this period a great opportunity for home buyers, ensuring the green shoots predicted 18 months ago.
“When we were talking about green shoots 12 to 18 months ago, we were probably being a bit premature or optimistic,” Mr Gemmill said.
“But now, not only do we have green shoots, we have a bit of fertiliser to put on the lawn too. These changes will create awareness and instil confidence in the real estate market. Growth is coming. I feel WA is on the bottom, house prices have gone back to where they were in 2006 — so I think it’s a good time to buy.”
Mr Gemmill said it is useful to look at “the realities” in WA.
“WA has gone from 7 per cent to 2.3 per cent vacancy rates. There’s $70 billion of mining work, $20 billion of which that has already started.
“All the signs are there of a real rebound. The upside outweighs any concern around negative equity. These changes will help WA bounce back again.”
“We’re seeing an increase in inquires, increase in sales, and an increase in land sales. We see the real data here at the coalface.”
Mr Gemmill said the added assistance will have an immediate impact.
“Rather than writing a cheque and giving it to these people, the government is now assisting them in other ways,” he said.
“In the past, the Fly In-Fly Out workers and double-income workers were ineligible for Keystart and had to go to a bank, and the banks then wanted a 20 per cent deposit, which they couldn’t raise.
“By increasing the income limits, it allows these people, who are working hard to get into a new home, to actually do it. This policy is not aimed at dentists, doctors and lawyers. This is for hardworking Australians doing it tough. It is a massive help to those who need it.”