Perth’s moderating housing market presented fantastic opportunities for buyers to secure property at an affordable price with houses and units both posting declines to their median house price in the quarter, the latest REIWA data shows.
The median house price for the September quarter came in at $522,133, which is an adjustment of 4.2 per cent on the revised June quarter median of $545,000, while units tracked in a similar manner, moving down 2.3 per cent to $420,125 from the revised June quarter figure of $430,000.
The data revealed that in terms of the quarterly change in the annual median, there were some new top performing suburbs over the quarter. The best performing suburb was St James in Perth’s central sub-region, which topped the list with a 5.1 per cent increase to its quarterly annual median, followed by Mount Claremont with 4.5 per cent.
In other sub-regional markets, the top performers were: Madeley (North West) which lifted 3.7 per cent, Wattle Grove (North East) which rose 2.2 per cent, Rockingham (South West) which grew 3.3 per cent and Bedfordale (South East) which enjoyed a 1.2 per cent increase.
In Perth’s unit market, East Fremantle led the charge in the September quarter, with its quarterly annual median lifting a healthy 6.2 per cent, followed by Highgate and Cockburn Central, which tied with a 5.0 per cent lift, followed by North Fremantle which posted an increase of 4.9 per cent.
Although there were some new entries in the mix for quarterly annual changes, when it came to the top selling suburbs, the results were more familiar. Baldivis continued to dominate for houses this quarter with 469 house sales, followed by Ellenbrook with 420 sales and Canning Vale in third place with 413 sales. Renowned for their appeal to first home buyers, these suburbs continue to dominate in a market skewed by weaker trade-up activity and prominent first time buyers.
For units, East Perth came in at number one with 288 sales for the three months to September, with Scarborough coming in second with 238 and Perth coming in third with 224 sales, showing that the inner urban apartment market continues to entice buyers.
Throughout the September quarter, the stock of listings for sale hovered marginally above the long term average of 12,000 to sit at around 15,100 for the quarter. Over the past week, listings for sale in Perth have nudged over the 16,000 mark, levels not seen since the immediate post GFC days. With these stock levels of property available in Perth, prospective buyers considering a purchase in the WA property market are under less pressure to make a hasty buying decision.
Whilst reiwa.com data shows that sales volumes dipped during the September quarter, there has been a slight pick-up in volumes last week to take the range to between 500 and 700 sales per week since April this year. We estimate that total dwelling sales for the quarter will come in at around 8,600 sales across WA, below the average.
As to be expected, present market conditions had an influence on selling days and discounting across the quarter. The average number of selling days for the Perth metro region is now at 62 days, which is up five days on the June quarter, while 53 per cent of vendors need to discount their asking price in order to sell.
The $3,000 First Home Owners Grant for established homes ended on October 3, and there was a spike in grant activity in September. The Office of State Revenue reports that there were 862 paid grants in September versus 799 paid grants in August 2015. For the month of September, the OSR reports that there were 767 grants paid for new builds.
Across regional WA, the quarterly data shows mixed results throughout non-metropolitan areas. Most regional centres recorded either no change in their quarterly growth or slightly negative growth. Busselton has once again lead the way with positive annual growth at 3.8 per cent over 438 sales, while Albany had an annual growth of 2.9 per cent across 421 sales and Kalgoorlie-Boulder performed against trend to post annual growth with 1.9 per cent over 326 sales.
The median rent price for both houses and units in Perth fell this quarter, with the overall median dropping $20 to now rest at $400 per week, broken down to $420 for houses and $395 for units. The most recently released population figures from the ABS shows that net interstate migration into WA has now declined by almost 38 percent in the March 2015 quarter.