15/10/2008 - 22:00

House prices hit for third quarter

15/10/2008 - 22:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

THE downturn in Perth's housing market continued during the September quarter, with the city's median house price falling for the third consecutive quarter to $426,000.

THE downturn in Perth's housing market continued during the September quarter, with the city's median house price falling for the third consecutive quarter to $426,000.

According to preliminary figures from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia, released this week, Perth's median house price has now declined 10 per cent since the December quarter last year, when prices peaked at $472,000.

Compared with the June quarter, the median price was down 4 per cent, with the percentage of houses listed for sale and valued at more than $500,000 also falling by 3 percentage points.

Another market indicator, the number of days taken to sell a property, suggested the slowdown was continuing, with the average selling time stretching from 74 days in June to 79 days in September.

However, the volume of properties for sale remained stable, with 17,300 properties listed during the quarter.

This included 2,250 blocks of land, down 8 per cent on the June quarter.

REIWA president Rob Druitt said fallout from the US sub-prime crisis and interest rate uncertainty had contributed to the market correction, with low consumer sentiment in parts of the housing market.

However, there were some positive signs for market activity, with sales up 13 per cent in the quarter, boosted by first homebuyer activity.

Rents in Perth plateaued in the September quarter for the first time in three years, with the overall median rent sitting at $350 per week for houses and $340 per week for units.

The vacancy rate was 2.7 per cent.

In regional areas, price movements varied during the quarter, with the median house price in Greater Bunbury gaining 1 per cent to $354,000, and median rents stabilising at $275 per week.

Geraldton/Greenough was down slightly to $347,000, although rents jumped 7 per cent to $300 per week.

The median house price in Kalgoorlie/Boulder fell by 5 per cent, to just below $300,000, while in Mandurah/Murray prices dropped about 6 per cent, to $375,000.

According to a report from the Housing Industry Association, conditions in the housing industry are expected to worsen over the next six months.

The HIA's inaugural business expectation report, which surveyed 1,650 businesses, showed almost one third of respondents expected a deterioration in trading conditions, with more than half expecting a contraction in profit margins and 70 per cent forecasting some tightening in credit availability.

However, property research agency RP Data suggested last week that the latest cycle had passed its lowest point.

RP Data in-house analyst Tim Lawless said the broader consumer market was likely to view the residential property sector with more confidence following improvements to interest rates.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options