Buying Private Land in South West WA: Key Considerations and Benefits

The stunning South West region of WA has long been a favourite destination for holidaymakers and nature enthusiasts. However, in recent years, it has also become a hotspot for property investors and retiring baby boomers looking to secure a piece of paradise that can double up as a holiday retreat and a long-term investment.

According to REIWA Regional market insights, demand for private land for sale in the South West has experienced remarkable growth, with a 12.3% increase over the past year and 37.8% increase over the past five years. This upward trend shows no signs of slowing down, as more and more investors recognise the untapped potential and unique benefits of owning private land in this breathtaking region.

In this article, we will delve into the key considerations and advantages of buying private land in South West WA. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or simply dreaming of owning a slice of the South West, understanding the unique aspects of private land ownership in this region will help you make an informed decision and unlock the possibilities that await in this incredible corner of the world.

Understanding Private Land Ownership in WA

In contrast to other types of land ownership such as leasehold or public land, where the control and use of the land may be more restricted or shared with others, private land ownership allows you to have complete control over your property as long as it’s within local zoning and land use regulations. This means that as a private landowner in WA, you have the freedom to use, develop, and sell your property as you see fit, so long as you adhere to the relevant laws and regulations.

Some of the benefits of owning private land include:

  1. Exclusive land use rights and privacy.
  2. Potential for capital appreciation.
  3. Ability to pass land down to future generations.
  4. Flexibility in land use and development (subject to regulations).
  5. Opportunity to create a unique lifestyle or pursue specific interests.

Factors to Consider When Buying Private Land

There are several key factors you should account for when looking at private land for sale in the South West, including:

  • Zoning regulations and land use restrictions
  • Infrastructure, utilities, and accessibility
  • Environmental limitations
  • Location and lifestyle

We have covered each of these key considerations in more detail below.

Zoning and Land Use Regulations for Private Land in the South West

In Western Australia, private land is primarily classified based on its zoning, which is determined by the local government authority.

The main zoning categories for private land in the South West WA region include:


Land zoned for residential purposes allows landowners to build residential properties and related structures, such as:
o Garages and carports
o Sheds and workshops
o Pergolas and patios
o Swimming pools
o Granny flats or secondary dwellings (subject to specific regulations)

This type of zoning is common in the towns and cities of the southwest, such as Busselton, Dunsborough, Donnybrook, and Margaret River.


Land zoned for rural purposes, which may include agriculture, horticulture, or other rural activities. Rural zoning can be further classified into subcategories such as:

o Rural Residential: Allows for residential living in a rural setting with larger lot sizes.
o Rural Small Holdings: Suitable for small-scale agricultural activities or hobby farms.
o Rural Agriculture: Designed for larger-scale agricultural production.
o Rural Conservation: Aimed at protecting and conserving the natural environment.


Land zoned for commercial activities, such as shops, offices, or tourism-related businesses. This type of zoning is typically found in town centres or along main roads.


Land zoned for industrial purposes, which allows for manufacturing, processing, or storage activities. Industrial zoning is usually located on the outskirts of towns or in designated industrial areas.


Land zoned for specific purposes that don’t fit into the other categories, such as community facilities or unique developments. Special Use zoning is applied on a case-by-case basis.


It’s important to note that zoning is not the same everywhere and may come with certain limitations, such as:
o Building height restrictions
o Setback requirements (minimum distances from property boundaries)
o Site coverage limits (the percentage of land that can be built upon)
o Minimum lot sizes
o Heritage or character protection overlays

These limitations are put in place to preserve the character and amenity of a specific area, ensuring proper access to sunlight and privacy for residents and managing population density.

When searching for private land for sale in the South West, make sure you check your local council or shire’s website to understand the specific zoning regulations that apply to your property, as this will determine how you can use the land, including what sort of structures can be developed.

If you have your heart set on a specific block of land that is not suitable for your purposes, it may still be possible to apply for rezoning or obtain a special permit for specific land uses from your council. However, by familiarising yourself with the official zoning categories and their implications, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed purchasing decision.

Environmental Factors to Consider

When searching for the perfect piece of private land in the South West, you should consider any environmental factors that may impact your how you plan to use and enjoy your property.

For instance, the South West is known for its diversity of landscapes, with a range of soil types, water availability, and native vegetation. Whether your plans involve building your dream home, starting a small farm, or simply enjoying the natural beauty of the area, you should consider how these aspects may impact your use of the land.

It’s also important to be aware of any potential environmental risks, such as bushfire-prone areas or flood zones, which could affect the safety and insurability of your property. Familiarising yourself with the relevant regulations and permit requirements related to land use, clearing vegetation, and building in environmentally sensitive areas can help you avoid unexpected challenges down the line.

Accessing and Servicing Private Land

Access to your property is perhaps one of the most important considerations when researching private land for sale. You will want to make sure you have easy access to the land, whether through a public road or a registered easement.

If the property is in a rural or remote area, you may also need to look into the availability and cost of connecting to essential utilities and services, such as electricity, water, gas, and telecommunications. In some cases, off-grid solutions like solar power, rainwater tanks, or septic systems may be necessary.

Considering the distance to amenities such as schools, hospitals, and shops, is also important to ensure that the property will suit your lifestyle.

At Mark Hay South West, we understand the importance of these factors, which is why our private land for sale in the South West comes with all necessary land rights, permits, and access to amenities, making it ready for you to build on without the hassle of navigating these challenges yourself.

Location & Lifestyle: Why Southwest WA?

The South West region of Western Australia is a truly special place, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty, recreation, and lifestyle.

So, ask yourself, what might the South West have in store for you?

Will you build your dream home to pursue a specific interest or lifestyle, such as viticulture, horticulture, or eco-tourism? The region’s diverse landscape and climate certainly provide the perfect setting for a wide range of activities and passions.

Or will you take advantage of fast-growing areas like Donnybrook, which may offer investment potential and lifestyle benefits as they develop? As these communities continue to grow and thrive, you’ll be presented with an exciting opportunity to become a part of a vibrant and evolving region.

Ultimately, by carefully considering the location and lifestyle factors that matter most to you, you can find a piece of private land in South West WA that not only meets your practical needs but also serves as a beautiful backdrop for the life you want to live. Whether you’re looking for an investment property, a holiday retreat, or a forever home, the South West has something to offer everyone.

Disclaimer: The advice provided in this blog post is of a general nature and may not be suitable for your specific financial situation or goals. Investment decisions should be made carefully and with consideration of individual circumstances.

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