Home buyers and investors demonstrated strong appetite for units in Western Australia, with the unit market posting a 58% increase in sales during the first quarter of the year, according to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA).

Damian Collins, president of REIWA, said the annual growth in unit sales had exceeded growth in house sales during the quarter, with the latter's sales up by only 35%.

"Unit sales are the highest they have been since 2013. Several factors are contributing to this. With the shortage of houses for sale, more people are considering a unit as a place to live. Also, we have started to see investors return to the market and many prefer to buy units," he said.

The median selling time for units have fallen to 32 days during the quarter, 25 days faster than last year.

“While units are being snapped up quicker than they were a year ago, the unit median selling time for the three months to March 2021 is still 17 days longer than the median selling time for a house at 15 days,” Collins said.

The affordability of Perth's units was a major driver of demand. During the quarter, the median unit price of units in the city was $381,750, which was almost $120,000 less than the median house price of $499,000.

"While Perth’s median house price has grown 4% over the last year, the median unit price is only up 0.5%,” Collins said.