Lower end of market activity increasing
BUYERS snapped up real estate bargains in the March quarter 2018, with sales for properties priced $500,000 and below up 5.7 per cent according to REIWA data.
REIWA president Hayden Groves said increased activity in the lower end of the market was usually a sign first-home buyers were active and, after observing subdued first-home buyer activity during the December 2017 quarter, it was pleasing to see this market strengthen early in 2018.
“The final quarter of 2017 saw the composition of the Perth market shift,” he said.
“Last quarter there were significantly more sales in the higher-priced end of the market and less in the first-home buyer price range.
“It’s been a different story this quarter, with the balance of sales shifting back to the lower end of the market.”
Increased sales in lower price brackets saw a decline in Perth’s median house price.
The preliminary median price was $510,000.
Once all sales settle it is expected to increase to $517,000, marginally lower (0.6 per cent) than the December 2017 quarter but 0.4 per cent higher than the same period last year.
Perth’s preliminary median unit price was $401,000, which is expected to increase to $410,000, putting it on par with the December quarter median.
Mr Groves said the results were in line with REIWA’S 2018 forecast, which expects stable conditions throughout the remainder of the year, with moderate price growth during the next 12 months.
The number of sales was slightly lower than expected, with preliminary Landgate data showing there were 5865 dwelling sales during the reporting period.
“We expect around 6603 sales for the quarter overall, which is marginally lower than volumes recorded during the December quarter,” Mr Groves said.
There were 14,413 properties for sale in Perth at the end of the March quarter 2018, a 10.2 per cent increase on the previous quarter, but 2.9 per cent lower than the March quarter 2017.
“While it is pleasing listings have declined on an annual basis, the increase over the quarter is not cause for alarm,” Mr Groves said.
“With overall sentiment in WA improving and all signs indicating the market has begun to turn, sellers are feeling more confident than they have been and therefore more inclined to put their property up for sale.
“We’ve also seen a sharp decline in rental listings over the past year, which has had a flow-on effect to the established market.
“With some investors choosing to sell their rental property instead of lease it, this has contributed to the rise in the number of properties for sale in Perth.”
It took 67 days on average to sell a house in Perth during the March quarter, an increase on the December quarter but two days faster than the same time last year.
“With more listings on the market, buyers now have more choice, which has had an impact on the time it takes to sell,” Mr Groves said.
“It’s very encouraging though, that on an annual basis, we’re seeing average selling days decrease.” ■