17/07/2007 - 22:00

Activity leads to market dip

17/07/2007 - 22:00

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Increased activity among first-home buyers has helped provide some price relief in the June quarter, with the median house price falling $7,000, or 1.5 per cent, during the period.

Activity leads to market dip

Increased activity among first-home buyers has helped provide some price relief in the June quarter, with the median house price falling $7,000, or 1.5 per cent, during the period.

Real Estate Institute of Western Australia president Rob Druitt said the new data was derived from about 75 per cent of market transactions and indicated the market was moving in line with expectations.

“The revised median price in Perth for the March quarter was $470,000, and this has now retracted a little in the June quarter to $463,000 on our preliminary calculations,” Mr Druitt said in a statement.

The increase in sales activity has led to a fall in property listings from 13,800 to 13,200 over the quarter, with the average number of selling days increasing from 55 to 61.

Mr Druitt said the decline was being skewed by increased first-home buyer activity, which also contributed to a 15 per cent increase in sales.

“Since the state government effectively did away with stamp duty for first-home buyers in May, we have seen the steady return of this group to the market,” he said.

“As a consequence, there has been a greater turnover of homes at the cheaper end of the market and this has had the effect of pulling the overall median price down a little.”

On the rental front, REIWA’s latest data confirms the demand for rental properties in Perth is outstripping supply.

In the March quarter, Perth’s median rent for units jumped from $255 per week to $280 per week, while the median rent for houses jumped $20, to $300 per week.

Mr Druitt said the higher rents could be attributed to the abolition of letting fees in April.

“In the March quarter, the vacancy rate plummeted to an all-time low of just 0.8 per cent, but this has lifted to around 1.7 per cent,” he said.
“However, it seems many land owners have moved to recover their new letting fees impost by increasing rents.”

REIWA believes the metropolitan median house price is likely to plateau or show a small decline for the June quarter, with the re-emergence of first-home buyers generating more sales turnover at the lower end of the market.

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