Perth has nation s most costly land
Vacant land in Perth remains most expensive in nation, with prices rising more than 11pc over past year.

Vacant land in Perth remains the most expensive in the country, with prices rising more than 11 per cent over the past year.

Figures for the quarter ending in March from the Housing Industry Association and RP Data show the median price of land in Perth rose to $619/sqm.

HIA economist Diwa Hopkins said the closest capital city in price to Perth was Sydney at $563/sqm followed by Adelaide at $495.

The median lot value for shovel-ready land was $260,000, a rise of 11.1 per cent on March 2013 figures and 4.8 per cent on the previous quarter.

"There had been fairly steady prices for an actual plot of land in Perth, but it's really been in this last 18 months where prices have grown," Ms Hopkins said.

"I think it would be fair to say the rate of price growth hasn't been seen in other jurisdictions."

At the height of the property boom in 2007, median prices in Perth approached $270,000.

For this March quarter the median lot price across Australia was $235,853.

After seeing near-record highs in the first half of 2013, Perth land sales pulled back sharply in subsequent quarters and the latest update shows no rebound in activity.

There were 2600 lot sales in the quarter, down from 2700 in the December 2013 quarter.

Sales in the March quarter were 30 per cent lower than this time last year.

Ms Hopkins said the price of land still suggested there was strong demand from Perth homebuyers but the decline was rather a reflection of a lack of available land.

In regional WA, the Kimberley, which has WA's second-highest lot value price of $235,000, reported a 79 per cent drop in sales.

The South West had a 5.9 per cent increase on lot values but a 14.5 per cent drop in actual sales.

A 15.4 per cent decline in sales activity across regional WA has emerged in the past six to nine months.

Urban Development Institute of Australia WA chief executive Debra Goostrey said while the cost of land per square metre had gone up, the lot sizes had decreased, so lot prices remained competitive.

"Lots have been decreasing in size and that's a fairly consistent trend," she said. "They are more popular with people after a lock-and-leave lifestyle that doesn't require them to take care of gardens, for example."

The West Australian

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