Perth price growth softens as vacancies creep higher

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It looks as though the good times are firmly on the wane for Perth’s recently booming property market.

According to REIWA’s preliminary data for the first three months of 2014, the WA capital city experienced slowing sales and an increase in the rental vacancy rate.

REIWA president David Airey said there was little change in overall sales turnover for the quarter, but it was worth noting that the March quarter was down by 6% on the same period last year.
“It has been a choppy quarter for sales, but there was a steady decline in recent weeks as the number of properties for sale lifted to their highest level since December 2012.”
Softening first home buyer activity was an ongoing market trend, which also helped to explain the dramatic rise in house, land and unit listings.
“Unlike trade-up buyers who exchange one home for another, first home buyers remove stock from the market,” Airey said.
Meanwhile, an increased amount of rental stock on the market meant that Perth’s vacancy rate, for the three months to February, had lifted to 4.1%.
This was its highest level in four years, Airey said. “The March quarter normally experiences a tightening in the vacancy rate, but not so this year.”

It was now a tenants’ market and, as a result, the median rent had dropped by $15 per week over the last nine months and was expected to drop further.
On a brighter note, the REIWA data did record a slight increase in Perth’s median house price, to $550,000, over the quarter.
While the March RP Data-Rismark Hedonic Home Value Index showed a slight dip of -0.6% in median value over the same quarter, it rose 0.6% during the month of March.

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