POSITIVE SIGNS FOR WA
THE Perth property market wrapped up 2017 on a positive note, with December quarter data topping the previous quarter.
“Traditionally, the September quarter outperforms the December quarter, but that wasn’t the case in 2017,” REIWA president Hayden Groves said.
“The December quarter is on track to record 14 per cent more sales than the September quarter.”
Speaking at the Australian Property Institute 2018 Residential Property Outlook breakfast on Tuesday, Mr Groves said the September quarter sales figures were the lowest going back 27 years.
He said 2017 was likely to have fewer sales than 2016 due to the pitiful September quarter.
Mr Groves said it boded well for Perth that key indicators – including median prices, sales activity, listing levels and average selling days – had improved over the quarter.
“We now appear to be entering a recovery phase, though REIWA remains cautious about expectations of rapid growth in the next 12 months,” he said.
However, market improvement was not across the board.
“In the December quarter, there were increased sales in the $700,000 to $800,000 price bracket, which has seen the median increase, while firsthome buyers have gone quiet in the $350,000 to $400,000 bracket,” Mr Groves said.
“It is too early to say if this trend will continue in the March quarter but buyers are actively looking for trade-up property right now while the lower end is still oversupplied.
“In that way we have a twospeed market in Perth at the moment; trade-up activity going nicely and the lower end starting to struggle a bit.”
Perth’s preliminary median house price increased 1.2 per cent to $516,000 in the December quarter 2017.
“On an annual basis, the Perth market is very stable; we’ve observed consistent price levels between the December 2016 and 2017 quarters, which is a strong signifier the market has turned a corner,” Mr Groves said.
There were 4946 dwelling sales in Perth in the December quarter.
Mr Groves said this figure was expected to lift to 6700 once all sales had settled, putting it significantly above the September quarter sales figure.
With 13,088 properties for sale in Perth at the end of the December quarter, Mr Groves said this was on par with the September quarter figure and 6 per cent less than the December 2016 quarter figure.
“With buyer activity increasing, stock levels are being absorbed faster,” he said.
It was 10 days faster to sell in the December quarter than it was in the September quarter, with it taking on average 60 days to secure a sale.
“It’s been two years since it was this quick to sell in Perth,” Mr Groves said.
“The combination of sellers’ preparedness to meet the market and buyer appetite for well-priced property has significantly shortened days-onmarket.”