Perth’s median house price stabilised at $510,000 in December, according to The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA).

The industry group also found that while the December median house price for the Greater Perth area was unchanged compared to November, it had climbed by 2.6% from September.

“Overall, the median sale price of houses is holding up well in Greater Perth, which is good news as the market transitions towards a recovery,” REIWA President Damian Collins said.

However, a separate report by CoreLogic showed that house values dropped 1% last month— a shift that was explained by Collins.

“CoreLogic’s Hedonic Values Index aims to capture the entire property market, including what has and has not sold recently,” he said. “Their latest House Value Index shows the Perth market is still patchy, which is not surprising given tighter lending restrictions have made it more difficult for Perth buyers to secure finance.”

Collins also highlighted the importance of looking at the condition of individual sectors in addition to median prices when observing market trends. For instance, while overall sales are down in Greater Perth, REIWA’s data showed that activity in the $800,000-plus price range has improved.

In terms of listings, there were fewer properties for sale in December than November, down by 9% during the month. The five Perth suburbs to record the biggest drop in listing stock (percentage-wise) were Trigg, Hilbert, Gwelup, Parkwood and South Fremantle.

 “After observing a surge in listing stock during spring, listing volumes were more subdued in December, which is very typical as vendors are generally less inclined to try and sell during the holiday season,” Collins said.

Listing stock in Perth’s rental market also tracked the downward trend, sliding 6% to 6,865 in December. Year over year, listings declined by 27%.

“This significant reduction in listings, combined with stable rent prices and healthy leasing volumes, has pushed the Perth vacancy rate to 2.9%, the lowest level Perth has experienced since March 2013,” Collins said.

Perth’s overall median rent price, meanwhile, was steady at $350 per week in December.

“While the overall median was stable, when we isolate rent prices to just houses, Perth’s median house rent increased $8 to $360 per week in December, which is very encouraging,” Collins said. “Traditionally the first few months of the year are a busy time for leasing activity. If the rental market remains on its current upward trajectory, we should see rent prices increase throughout the year, which should entice investors back into the market.”