Population slowdown impacts WA market

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A 30% drop in population growth since the GFC has contributed to a slowdown in house price growth, according to REIWA.

The real estate institute for Western Australia has recorded across-the board price falls for houses and units in Perth during the September quarter: house price values fell from a median of $500,000 to $480,000, and median unit price fell $5,000 to $405,000. Land prices, meanwhile, increased by 12.5% in the quarter - although REIWA president Alan Bourke cautioned against "reading too much into this".

"The median price of land has not jumped because of any shortages; in fact, there are currently 2,360 blocks on the market," said Bourke. "This jump in median price is because there has been an increase in sales of more expensive lots closer to the city and fewer sales at the more affordable urban fringe."

The regional markets saw a 2.7% drop in house prices to a new average of $365,000.
"Busselton and Greater Bunbury saw the greatest falls in median price, of 10% and 8% respectively," added Bourke. But in an obvious sign of continuing housing pressure in the Pilbara, the town of Karratha grew by a further 3% to new median price of $871,000, whilst Broome in the Kimberley grew by 8%."

He also commented that the fall in figures must be seen in context with a slowdown in population growth, both overseas and interstate.
"These declines have had an obvious impact across the housing system, particularly with rental vacancies, first home buyer activity and new housing construction," concluded Bourke.

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