Property Council WA Division welcomes State Government support for Build-to-Rent sector

Land tax exemptions could be the trigger for a viable Build-to-Rent market in WA, Paxon Group Executive Director Michael Palassis told a Property Council WA luncheon last month.

Earlier Housing Minister Peter Tinley said the State Government was keen to help create a viable sector.  This could be by de-risking projects, working on joint ventures or supplying land.

“At the social end, the Housing Authority of Western Australia has been offering Build-to-Rent for 100 years,” Mr Tinley said. “We now believe we have an opportunity to transition that vehicle to the affordable and other parts of the market.”

Mr Tinley acknowledged there were some tax barriers for the sector but said there were “huge opportunities for us” with METRONET precincts and a State Government that had always been willing to work with the private sector. 

Build-to-Rent projects, including Sentinel Real Estate’s Element 27 in Subiaco, aligned with changing community attitudes to housing and density, Mr Tinley said, with many residents valuing security of tenure and the precinct they live in.

Mirvac National Manager of Operations Andrew Hansen said Build-to-Rent, with its focus making sure tenants were experiencing a high level of service was “so far from what is out there at the moment”. 

“There is so much potential here in Perth,” Mr Hansen said.

Property Council WA Executive Director Sandra Brewer said it was exciting to hear about US build to rent operators engaging in an “amenity arms race” to win tenants over.

“It is good to see the State Government so receptive to helping create a new asset class in the property sector,” Ms Brewer said.

“The industry is excited about the proposition of being able to offer secure, long-term tenancies with amenities and services for residents.”

Mr Palassis, responding to a question about how governments could help catalyse the Build-to-Rent market in WA, said land tax was “a killer” for Build-to-Rent projects and state governments were recognising that given they would not expect that revenue from build to sell projects, there was no loss to taxpayers in removing a potential obstacle to Build-to-Rent projects by applying land tax.