Lead author Steven Fowler said it was clear from the data that regional properties have experienced a much higher average price growth compared to metropolitan properties across the two time periods.
“The pandemic showed us just how quickly demand for housing can change, with a shift to home buyers wanting to escape metropolitan areas; to larger homes and more private space; and to work from home in lifestyle locations,” he said.
However, Rowley believes we are now shifting back towards pre-pandemic patterns of demand.
“While COVID drove some permanent changes, such as working from home opportunities for many, and a surge in regional house prices, the market appears to be returning to pre-pandemic patterns with location and affordability the key drivers.
“Interest rate rises have played a key part in this with the cost of buying having risen sharply while tight rental markets across the country have limited household movements”.
Rowley added the increase in building costs, combined with construction delays, had led to an increased demand for established dwellings which had led to a vicious cycle of housing scarcity.
“Owners of existing properties are reluctant to sell as there is a lack of options to buy and a very tight rental market means renting in between selling and buying a dwelling is difficult,” he said.
“The lack of new supply and strong population growth means upward pressure on both prices and rents – not good news for potential purchasers or anyone in the rental market”.
Fowler attributed the growth in house prices around Geraldton and Esperance to COVID-19 stimulus and population movements.
“Price growth on the urban periphery is likely due to incentives for first home buyers and population movements while in the South West and Esperance is due to lifestyle choices,” he said.
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