Perth faces land price crisis
Train wreck: Dale Alcock. Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian

Perth is facing a housing affordability "train wreck", one of the city's home builders has warned amid signs the State Government may make changes to stamp duty.

Dale Alcock said generations faced being priced out of Perth if governments failed to come up with ways to stop runaway prices.

He made the comments after Premier Colin Barnett said there may be "tinkering around the edges" on stamp duty.

Figures from the Housing Industry Association and RP Data show the median price of land in Perth is a record $600/sqm, the most expensive land in the country.

The sky-high prices are hitting sales with just 2002 blocks changing hands in the December quarter, a 32 per cent fall on the same period in the previous year.

Mr Alcock said premiers and the Prime Minister had to look at a raft of changes, including the provision of infrastructure and an overhaul of government regulations, to keep a lid on land and housing prices.

He said only growing wages had helped prevent a complete crisis in Perth but with the mining sector losing steam many people would find themselves unable to afford buying a property in the city. "It's a slow train wreck in my opinion," Mr Alcock said.

The high cost of land stung Perth couple Andrew Hook and Cassey Roberts, who have just bought a block of land at Eglinton in the city's north.

Ready to put down a deposit on their preferred block, they found it snapped up by another buyer.

A fortnight later they have a new 375sqm block, on which they will put a Celebration Homes property, virtually across the road but $6000 dearer. "Blocks in the northern suburbs closer to Perth were smaller and more expensive, so this is what we've gone with," Ms Roberts said.

There are concerns within the industry that next week's State Budget could make life even tougher.

Asked whether the Government was looking at changes to stamp duty, Mr Barnett said there would be "impacts" in stamp duty.

"Well the issue's been around some of the concessions and whether they're too generous, but there are not large changes planned in the area of stamp duty," he said.

The West Australian

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