27/08/2008 - 22:00

House prices fall in June

27/08/2008 - 22:00

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Perth's median house price fell to $443,000 during the June quarter, slightly lower than originally forecast, according to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia's official data.

House prices fall in June

Perth's median house price fell to $443,000 during the June quarter, slightly lower than originally forecast, according to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia's official data.

This represented a drop of about 3.7 per cent since March, and almost $30,000 since the market's peak of $472,000 in December last year.

Regional areas experienced larger falls in median price, led by Geraldton-Greenough, which posted a loss of 9 per cent.

Prices in Mandurah and Greater Bunbury fell by 7 per cent, while Kalgoorlie dipped 5 per cent.

Overall, the regional median house price fell 8 per cent to $350,000, while the median unit price remained steady at $320,000.

In total, about 9,200 properties were sold in the quarter - almost a third fewer than in June last year - representing a fall of 11 per cent since March.

REIWA president Rob Druitt said the downward trend was the result of a continuing post-boom correction, weaker consumer confidence, higher petrol prices and uncertainty concerning interest rates.

Despite general market weakness, first homebuyer activity rose, with the sector accounting for about 30 per cent of buyers (up from a general average of about 20 per cent).

In the rental market, the vacancy rate eased slightly, from 1.4 per cent in the March quarter to 2.8 per cent, with rents increasing by 3 per cent to a median of $350 per week.

Rents for units rose to $320 per week, while the general median for rents reached $340 per week.

Perth land prices remained stable during the June quarter ($250,000 per block), representing a 4 per cent fall over the past 12 months.

However, regional land slumped 21.1 per cent in June, to a median price of $145,000.

The average time taken to sell a property has also lengthened, from 65 days in the June quarter last year, to 74 days.

This was up three days on the March quarter.

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