Perth continued its path to recovery, with both sales and rental markets witnessing improving conditions last month, according to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA).

One of the biggest changes in Perth is the participation of first-home buyers, as evidenced by the growing number of home sales under $350,000, which comprised 30% of all transactions in the month.

Overall sales activity in Perth remained stable, but some suburbs witnessed a busier month.

"The top suburbs by sales-activity growth include Leeming, Dianella, Woodvale, Ellenbrook and Secret Harbour, while Halls Head, Canning Vale, Baldivis, Secret Harbour and Dianella had the highest number of sales for the month," said Damian Collins, president at REIWA.

According to local agents, excellent-quality properties were getting snapped up quicker in the month. Discounts made by sellers were also lower, down to 6.4%.

"This is a positive sign for the median sale price, and if this continues, we should start seeing a gradual increase in prices in the coming months," Collins said.

On a monthly basis, Perth house prices were up by 0.1%, according to the latest figures from CoreLogic. If the previous three months were taken into consideration, Perth house values were 0.4% higher.

The median sale price in Perth is $480,000 for houses and $375,000 for units.

Perth's rental market also remained expansionary in January, with leasing activity rising by 26%.

"Leasing activity typically increases at the start of the year, whether it is part of a tenant’s New Year's resolution to find a new home or simply getting back into a routine after the festive period, which is why we have seen the jump in leasing to 4,608 in January," Collins said.

Overall median weekly rent in the city remained $350.

Como, Southern River, Kardinya, Waikiki and Safety Bay recorded the highest growth in leasing activity. On the other hand, Baldivis, Canning Vale, Halls Head, Clarkson and Butler remained the busiest and had the most number of properties leased.

There were 5,840 properties for rent at the end of January, which represent a 4% monthly increase but a 13% annual decline.

"The decline in listings we have observed over the last 12 months has had a significant impact on the vacancy rate which continues to sit at a low of 2.4%," Collins said.