Dunsborough realtor Joe White takes REIWA reins as ‘challenging environment’ looms

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
REIWA’s new president, Joe White.
Camera IconREIWA’s new president, Joe White. Credit: supplied/TheWest

Dunsborough real estate veteran Joe White has taken the helm at the State’s peak body and says house prices in the next year will be resilient because of a lack of supply.

The JMW director, who previously anticipated a huge knock-on effect on Capes housing from the pandemic, said continued population growth was needed to avoid house prices stagnating or dropping as interest rates bite.

After two years as the Real Estate Institute of WA’s deputy chair, Mr White was elected president last week replacing Damian Collins.

Mr White said he came into the role during challenging times.

“I am committed to advocating on behalf of our members and the WA public, building on REIWA’s 100-year legacy,” he said.

The 32-year industry veteran said WA’s undersupply of houses would help to maintain property values, despite rising interest rates and global recession fears.

“It’s all about supply. . . and there is a chronic shortage of houses,” he said.

“I see perhaps prices remaining level or perhaps a slight increase.”

But Mr White said his forecast was dependent on expectations that WA would continue to experience population and wage growth.

The population grew by 32,200 people in the year to March, and the private sector wages grew 2.7 per cent over the year to the June quarter.

“If you’ve got both of those two things, we will be OK,” he said.

“If we’ve got one of those things, we will probably be OK.

“But if you lose both, you go backwards.”

Mr White acknowledged global recession fears, following claims from Treasurer Jim Chalmers that the risk in many major world economies had tipped from “possible to probable”.

He had noted international events and rising interest rates had led to “a growing cautiousness” among local home buyers.

However, the resources industry played a key buffer role, he said.

“The last gloom and doom prediction I saw didn’t happen.”

Mr White said his goal during his presidency at the peak body was to address the housing and homelessness crisis, by helping to shine a light on the obstacles to new housing supply.

“REIWA has to take the view that our guiding principal would be for every West Australian to have an appropriate roof over their head,” he said.

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails