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Buying & Selling Heritage Listed Residential Properties

Buyers choose properties for any number of reasons: location, price, charm, character.

For some, owning a place that has played a role in the history of Western Australia has a special appeal. It is not just about the charm or architectural style, it’s the ambience created by the layers of history attached to the place. Heritage can’t be recreated and it is this point of difference that can be a major selling point for a property.

Many prospective buyers are prepared to pay a premium for a well cared for heritage property. Others relish the challenge of restoring and adapting a heritage building into a contemporary family home.

Heritage listing means that the heritage of a place has been identified as being of special importance to the local community or the State.

There are three main heritage listing types in WA that are established through legislation: Municipal (Local Government) Inventories, Local Government Heritage Lists and the State Register of Heritage Places. Regardless of listing type, the property values of heritage listed homes tend to perform just as well as non-heritage listed places, and often better - particularly in areas with a high concentration of listed or character homes. Like any property, its value will be affected by a range of factors including size, location, the quality and maintenance of the property.

For more information on Heritage Listings, please click here. If you'd like to search inHerit for heritage listed places, please click here.

Development and contemporary living

Heritage listed places can be adapted to suit contemporary living and this is often the best way of assuring their future.

Many heritage homes have been revitalised with contemporary additions or successfully adapted into restaurants or offices. Similarly, warehouses and other industrial buildings, schools and police stations have been transformed into residences, offices, retail and hospitality spaces.

To ensure that the heritage value of your property is respected, any changes will need to be referred to your local government for approval. This is normally done through a building or development application. If the place is State Registered, the local government will refer it to the us for advice.

Sensitive development that respects the heritage of the property provides the greatest return on your investment.

Depending on the heritage significance of a place, properties may be subdivided. Some commercial developments may also be eligible for local government incentives.

General maintenance and minor works do not generally need to be referred. Check with your local government or the State Heritage Office to see if you need approval before you start.For more information about conservation and development, please click here.

If you are considering buying a heritage listed property, you can contact your local government or the State Heritage Office to discuss the types of works that would be supported. We also have a range of publications and information showing how heritage properties have been adapted for contemporary living.

Your home

Heritage listing carries no obligation to hold an ‘open house’ and the general public cannot enter your property without your permission. Listing does not restrict your right to sell or lease your property.


Generally, you are able to insure any place that is in sound condition and occupied. However some insurance companies have a policy of not insuring heritage listed buildings. Talk to your insurance company or consult an insurance broker for more information. Normal insurance cover is usually sufficient for heritage listed properties but, like all property owners, you should obtain adequate coverage to replace materials on a like-for-like basis.

Financial assistance

A range of grants and incentives are available to assist owners with the conservation of their properties, including the Heritage Council’s Heritage Grants Program. For more information, please click here.

Related Documents






inHerit - an online portal for heritage listings

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Our Office hours are from Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

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Heritage is integral to the vibrant life and prosperity of Western Australia.
General Enquiries

Level 2, 491 Wellington Street, Perth WA 6000

Locked Bag 2506

T: (08) 6551 8002
Freecall (regional): 1800 52 4000
F: (08) 6552 4001

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