Nicola Trotman | 30 January 2013

Pilbara still to dominate as First National's WA agents see confidence return

The Western Australian property market is expected to steadily improve in the coming six months, due to consumer confidence and better buying conditions, according to the Western Australian property market outlook by First National.

“Our members are looking forward to 2013 where the market is expected to build on the momentum already seen over the last six months of 2012,” says Cambell Giles, state chair and principal of First National Real Estate Giles Jones in Midland.

Perth, Peel and the south west are already experiencing a rising market in the back end of 2012 and this is expected to strengthen further in 2013.

Activity sales are expected to increase in the first half of 2013, resulting in the average number of days a property is on the market to fall.

Giles says the Port Hedland and the Newman property markets remain strong and are attractive to investors and owner-occupiers.

“Despite negative media reports, towns like Port Hedland and Newman will see the property market remain strong, with the region more sensitive to factors affecting the Chinese rather than the Australian economy,” says Giles.

“Early indicators show demand for resources is ramping up and iron ore prices will stabilise by mid next year, seeing confidence in this sector returned to early 2012 levels.”

However, local agents believe the Pilbara region will still dominate the property market in 2013.

Property prices are expected to gradually improve in the coming 12 to 18 months, especially where the mining and resources sector remain strong.

“The steadily improving market conditions are expected to translate into a gradual improvement in property prices with house prices, specifically Perth, expected to rise,” says Giles.

On the investment side, apartment and strata property prices are expected to remain at current levels due to a steady ongoing supply, with any increase being the result of strong demand.

Investor activity is expected to increase as a result of improving rental yields and returns, but first homebuyers are expected to represent the strongest growth sector in the state.

Areas that are cheaper to buy in rather than rent include Burswood, Perth, Ascot, Girrawheen, West Perth, Ledge Point, South Hedland and Nickol.

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