Perth Market Showing Signs of Life

With the median house price lifting, REIWA President Damian Collins is optimistic about Perth’s property market.

Perth property prices might be struggling, but you wouldn’t know it if you live in these suburbs.

Data released by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) reveals Perth’s median house price increased 5.2 per cent to $510,000 during the December 2018 quarter.

REIWA President Damian Collins said while activity in the overall Perth market had remained subdued during the final quarter of 2018, the improvement in Perth’s median house price was a “good sign” entering into the New Year.

“While we don’t expect to see rapid growth in the Perth property market in 2019, REIWA’s outlook suggests sales volumes could start to increase this year. With house prices in Perth remaining relatively affordable and consumer confidence levels on the incline, this could translate into increased activity in 2019,” Mr Collins said.

House and unit prices rose significantly over the December quarter, putting it back on par with the December 2017 quarter median.

“Perth’s median house price dropped below $500,000 for the first time in six years during the September 2018 quarter, likely due to a shift in the composition of sales that quarter. Pleasingly, the median house price rebounded back to $510,000 this quarter, which is consistent with the more stable prices observed over the last 18 months,” Mr Collins said.

Almost 70 suburbs experienced an increase in the median house price. Cannington, Coodanup, Karrinyup, Beaconsfield and Hillarys were among these.

Mr Collins told WILLIAMS MEDIA sellers should feel very comfortable.

“Overall, prices held up fairly well during the December quarter. While buyers continue to benefit from improved affordability in the Perth market, sellers should take comfort in the fact that prices have remained relatively stable over the last 12 months.”

WA market to remain stable in 2019

Mr Collins is optimistic about the state of the residential property market heading into 2019.

“The upward trajectory should continue through 2019, with stable population growth and slowing new-building construction levels the key drivers for this improvement – this should see competition among tenants increase, putting further downward pressure on the vacancy rate which dropped below 4 per cent (for the first time in four years) at the end of 2018,” he said.

But he warns any changes to negative gearing could pose wider implications.

“While the outlook is positive, changes to negative gearing could pose a risk for both the rental sector and wider property market,” he told WILLIAMS MEDIA.

John Percudani, managing director of Realmark believes the improving economic news in Western Australia suggests a reason to be optimistic. But it will be tempered by the combination of finance availability, population growth and employment security.

Mr Percudani says the WA market is “healthy”.

“Overall we expect to see the Western Australian market consolidate. Results will vary across suburbs and property sectors depending on supply, buyer motivation and access to amenities and school catchments. The affordability of property is presently attractive and the sentiment is increasingly positive,” he told WILLIAMS MEDIA.

“We expect the potential restrictions in finance availability to be the primary influencing factor in 2019, together with the supply of properties for sale versus demand. As a consequence, prices may stay subdued in the first half of this year, but leading into 2020 this could be different depending on economic and financial conditions at that time.”

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