According to The Australian Financial Review, Stockland has made a counter-cyclical move, paying $91 million for 4600 new housing lots in Perth, in what is also one of the biggest indications of market confidence in the recovery of the Perth housing market.
"We've seen early signs of improved economic conditions in WA, particularly in Perth, and this additional land will enable us to plan for three new liveable, affordable residential communities over the long term," Stockland chief executive of residential Andrew Whitson said.
"These acquisitions set us up well to take advantage of future demand in the coming years."
Mr Whitson said the Perth housing market, which had suffered from the mining downturn in the past four years, already was "near the bottom".
Stockland takes the view the market will pick up significantly in the second half of 2018, given the improvement in the WA economy and employment. The group has drawn this insight from three quarters of sales of land sales.
There have been consistent sales of about 500 land lots a quarter in the three quarters to September, a volume that had traditionally been the lower end of the market, Mr Whitson said.
"Volumes and prices have stabilised," he said.
Perth house prices posted a promising 0.1 per cent increase in September, after experiencing a near 3 per cent fall in house prices in the past year, CoreLogic numbers show.
Despite falling prices, in the year to September, unit sales rose 10.1 per cent, CoreLogic also said.
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