David Airey is president of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.

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David Airey

14 November 2012

Strong first-home buyer activity in WA as sales turnover trends down

Preliminary data indicates that Perth’s median house price for the September quarter is currently below the June quarter figure, largely due to earlier settlements from strong first-home buyer activity.

This is a preliminary call on the state of the market, and data from reiwa.com suggests it will lift back to the June quarter median of $484,000 with late settlements.

First-home buyers now account for almost 30% of all sales, and there is no doubting their impact in the market as they eagerly purchase the more affordable properties.

The reasonably stable prices and low interest rates over the last nine months have resulted in overall turnover picking up by almost 20% on the same time last year, but sales from trade-up buyers fell by around 4% during the quarter.

Significant falls in turnover were reported in Rockingham-Kwinana, the eastern and western parts of Stirling, northern Joondalup and the western suburbs.

Despite a drop in turnover for the September quarter, a number of sub-markets defied the trend with increased sales. These included Armadale-Serpentine, Swan, Cockburn, Vincent, the north-east part of Wanneroo and south east section of Stirling.

Our REIWA members are reporting a 3% increase in sales of flats, units, apartments and villas, but with no movement in the overall median price of $390,000. Once again, this preliminary figure is likely to lift when revised to be level with the June figure.

REIWA data for the September quarter show that the stock of listings has fallen 14% to just 10,400 properties and the number of days on market has dropped a little to 71 days.

The more stable conditions have resulted in fewer sellers reducing their asking price and the average variance between the asking price and eventual selling price has also come down, now sitting at just under 6%.

In the regions, the median house price came down slightly to $360,000, while units and villas grew marginally to a median of $327,000. Results are patchy across the breadth of the state.


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