Perth’s house prices to be eclipsed by Adelaide’s as WA property slide drags on
In the 12 months to June 30, the median price in Perth fell 2.5 per cent, whereas in Adelaide prices climbed by 2 per cent.
Sydney (up 13.3 per cent), Melbourne (up 10.2 per cent) and Hobart (up 6.4 per cent) have all posted big jumps over the past 12 months, with relatively modest falls in the June quarter attributed to the pandemic.
Shadow Treasurer Dean Nalder said the record levels of mortgage stress, negative equity, and increases in household fees and charges were issues that fed on each other to cause the fall in prices comparatively against the rest of the nation.
“If you look at some of the economic stats, we have some really critical issues within our domestic economy and we like to say that we’re carrying the country,” he said.
“If that’s the case, why do we have nearly the highest unemployment in Australia, why do have the highest number of unemployed people in the state’s history, why do we have a mortgage default rate nearly double the national average, why do we have over the four years of this McGowan government business investment that declines further year on year?”
Mr Nalder said there were both broader economic pressures on the state and policy decisions made by the state government which had “adversely affected the domestic economy”.
“One of those has been the increases to household charges at a time when we have record low wages growth,” he said.
“When they introduced the foreign buyers tax, the timing was really bad. They were doing it when the housing industry was on its knees.”
Treasurer Ben Wyatt pointed to new payroll data from the ABS, which he used to argue WA was leading the nation in jobs recovery.
WA posted the lowest decline in the number of jobs in the nation, down 3.1 per cent compared to a 5.6 per cent fall nationally, between March 14 and July 11.
But WA also recorded the biggest reduction in total wages for the same period, dropping 7 per cent compared to 4.8 per cent nationally.
Mr Wyatt said WA’s hard border had allowed the state’s economy to open up faster than other states.
“Today’s ABS payroll jobs data is an encouraging sign that the jobs displaced due to the COVID-19 restrictions continue to be recovered,” he said.
“This is in line with other indicators such as job advertisements, which had almost returned to pre-COVID levels.”
Mr Nalder said the ABS data released today was not employment data, but more proof wages in WA were going backwards.
“The ABS suggests we’ve now got an unemployment rate 1.3 per cent above the national average at 8.7 per cent,” he said.
“It’s only 0.1 per cent behind Adelaide. They talk about how the WA government has managed coronavirus better than other states and yet housing prices are falling, mortgage defaults are up, unemployment’s up.”
Nathan is WAtoday’s political reporter and the winner of the 2019 Arthur Lovekin Prize for Excellence in Journalism.