Western Australia had experienced the biggest mining activity from the early 2000s up until 2014, Perth was buzzing with excitement, the economy was soaring, those in the mining industry had more money than they were ever use to and the Western Australian Government was loving the royalties. Suddenly, many had more disposable income and could afford to splurge on luxury items, commit to buying several properties, cars, boats and motorcycles. However, it has been several years since the boom and the aftermath is still being felt in Western Australia.
Those before who could afford to take out huge loans were now left with depreciating assets they could not pay off and lost their jobs in the economy downturn. Over commitment also came from the state government who ignored advice of the Treasury to minimize spending, resulting in Western Australia being left with a record budget deficit.
Several years on, Western Australia is still feeling the pinch and it is particular evident in the 2016 Census. Populations in towns across WA have fallen, people who have made there money have moved on whilst other Western Australians are experiencing a decline in wage growth compared to the rest of the country. The ABS shows that household incomes dropped 0.9 per cent when as a whole, incomes rose by 1.8 per cent as a nation. Since 2014 when the mining boom ended, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that 66 per cent of WA’s council areas had experienced a decline in household income since 2014-2015 through to 2016-2017 and doesn’t show any signs of of a turn around.
It wasn’t long ago that Western Australians were splashing cash around for high powered luxury cars, purchasing boats for use on their days off or high end motorcycles for toys. WA was prospering and the economy was benefiting but today is an entirely different story.
The economic downturn has clearly hit with a drastic drop in the average median income, many of the toys purchased that were bought from boat dealers and car yards have been repossessed due to the inability to keep up with the repayments. Buyers from other states are taking the opportunity, interstate bargain hunters are using motorbike transport companies to help transport bargain motorbikes, toys that have been sold by overcommitted tradies for cheap just to get a better rate than what dealers are offering.
Car dealer Jeffery Myles said the people who bought luxury cars from him during the mining boom are now trading them in for more economical, smaller and cheaper cars to adjust to lower incomes and job losses.
Local and online classifieds such as Gumtree have seen a significant increase in sale listings for automotive and power boats in Western Australia, whilst popular site carsales.com.au have also reported a spike in WA listings for high-powered cars.
For those who are able to afford it, they are taking advantage of cheaper car prices in luxury car brands BMW and Mercedes with both manufacturers reporting sales growth.