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Fragile Perth market on the brink

By Steven Cross
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Concerns that the state government may increase stamp duty and scrap exemptions for first-time buyers would seriously impact the already volatile market.

According to Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) president David Airey, pressure on the government to cut costs and raise revenue must be exercised with great care.

“The property market in WA is only just stabilising after several volatile years, while current REIWA data indicates a market downturn for the second half of this year.

“It’s critical that current policy settings remain in place and property taxes are not increased, distorting a fragile market,” Mr Airey said.

Mr Airey labelled the stamp duty exemption, introduced in 2007, as "extraordinarily successful".

“Cost of living and housing affordability is much tougher in WA than it is in other states, but removing the stamp duty impost from first home buyers saves most of them around $14,000 and helps them get into a home of their own.

“In combination with low interest rates, first home buyers have flourished in WA but the signs are that this is now trending downwards and it would be devastating if they soon get hit with stamp duty,” Mr Airey said.

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