Perth conditions still put buyers in pole position

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Conditions in Perth remain in favour of buyers, with Western Australia’s peak real estate body believing the city is a prime market for first home buyers.

According to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA), the continued moderating of prices after the end of the mining boom combined with government incentives make Perth the ideal target for those looking for their first home.

“Across the country, particularly in the Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan markets, first home buyers have found it increasingly difficult to secure their first home as prices continue to rise in those capitals,” REIWA president Hayden Groves said.

“We’re very fortunate in WA that home ownership is still accessible, supported in part by the Barnett Government’s transfer duty exemptions for first home buyers paying up to $430,000,” he said.

According to REIWA’s figures, Perth’s affordability improved during the June quarter, the median house price falling 1.4% to $522,500, while the median unit price declined 6.9% to $406,000.

“With the bulk of transactions occurring in Perth’s lower quartile, it’s not surprising that house and unit medians have come in lower over the quarter,” Groves said. 

REIWA’s figures show the majority of property transactions in the three months to June occurred in the $350,000 to $550,000 price bracket.

Values weren’t the only thing to fall over the quarter, with listings down 7.3 per cent to 14,159, from 15,269 over the March quarter.

Time on the market also fell across the three-month period, with the dwellings selling in an average of 64 days, down from 66 in the three months to March.

According to Groves, those two quarterly falls hold some good news and indicate that both buyers and sellers have a realistic understanding of Perth’s market.

“While home buyers and investors can be choosy in this market, it’s pleasing to see signs of stability with listing numbers declining in the three months to June,” he said.

“Homes that are priced correctly for the market from the start are selling quicker. It’s important sellers listen to the advice of their agent and don’t have unrealistic pricing expectation.”

While Groves said the fall in listings was a positive for the market, some of the fall may be driven by vendors who can’t secure a sale, which is then impacting on the rental market.

“It is apparent those vendors not able to reach their desired selling outcome have now chosen to list their property for rent, a circumstance attributing to the increase in rental stocks this quarter,” he said.

REIWA’s figures show leasing activity decreased 5% over the quarter, with rental listings moving above 11,000.

Those movements put downward pressure on rent prices with house and unit median rent prices dropping $10 each over the quarter to $395 and $365 per week respectively. 

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