Housing growth expectations require influx of labour to support demand
WA has bucked a national trend indicating a softening housing market with the industry confident of further growth.
The latest ANZ Property Council Survey for the March quarter shows house capital growth expectations in WA have surged by 9.9 points to 60.3, and retirement living capital growth is up by 8.1 points to 30.4, with both asset classes anticipated to continue to improve in 2022. A score of 0 is considered neutral.
According to Property Council WA Executive Director Sandra Brewer, the result reflects strong market demand combined with challenging supply conditions.
"Over the past two years, border closures have limited WA's ability to attract skilled labour to the state, resulting in a slowing of the development pipeline with many builders and contractors unable to keep up with demand for labour," she said.
"Combined with the increasing cost of materials delivering new housing supply to the market in a timely way has been difficult for the development industry".
Ms Brewer said despite challenging conditions, the results also reflect reasons to be optimistic.
"The results show there is strong demand in the residential market, and WA is a place that people want to live. The quality of life and cost of living benefits are strong selling points in attracting talent to WA.
"Delivering more housing in a timely way is central to maintaining WA's enviable housing affordability and attracting skilled labour to WA will help build homes quickly.
"Existing housing shortages should not limit WA's appetite for talent attraction. We know property markets can provide for workers even in highly constrained conditions. However, we cannot increase the speed of housing delivery without the additional workforce," she said.
The Property Council has asked the State Government to prioritise and advocate for targeted migration growth to support the strong demand for workers across all property sectors.
"We know that the number of job vacancies in WA now exceeds the number of unemployed people in the state.
"Over the past couple of years, the state government has invested heavily in training, but we need to recognise we now have a shortage of people. Governments and industry must work together
to ensure WA is at the forefront of talent attraction in order to maintain housing affordability and meet market demand," Ms Brewer concluded.