16/01/2008 - 22:00

House prices rebound to $466,000

16/01/2008 - 22:00

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The median Perth house price rose 1.1 per cent to a record $466,000 in the December quarter, slightly higher than the previous peak recorded in the March quarter last year.

The median Perth house price rose 1.1 per cent to a record $466,000 in the December quarter, slightly higher than the previous peak recorded in the March quarter last year.

The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia revealed last week that the median Perth house price had rebounded following a slump in the June quarter.

The median price increased 1.3 per cent in the September quarter to $461,000 and a further 1.1 per cent to $466,000 in December, pushing the median house price above the $465,000 record set in the March quarter last year.

The median house price has gained not moved much during the past year, having stood at $460,000 this time last year.

REIWA President Rob Druitt said sales volumes remained steady in the December quarter but were down about 10 per cent on the surge experienced in the June quarter.

“However, December’s sales volumes are still 25 per cent above the December figure for 2006 when the effects of the market slowdown were really starting to bite,” he said.

“We are still seeing price volatility at suburb level between quarters, but there has been no wholesale downturn across the board as some property commentators have been prophesying over the last 12 months.

“Clearly the Perth market is very resilient.

And why wouldn’t it be, with WA continuing to lead the country in terms of business investment, exports, employment and population growth?” REIWA said the high levels of listings in 2007, which peaked in early December, had now contracted to 13,400 dwellings for sale.

The steady flow of sales has also resulted in a decline in the average number of selling days from 68 to 65 days during the December quarter.

“The slowdown in new housing activity in 2007 and continuing strong population growth will maintain the demand for housing whether for sale or rent during 2008,” Mr Druitt said.

“The only immediate risks to the steadying of the local markets are the spectre of further interest rate rises and ongoing affordability pressures that may be restricting potential first home buyers.” The rental market continued to tighten in the December quarter, with REIWA figures showing the vacancy rate falling from 2.5 per cent to 1.9 per cent.

The fall was coupled with a 6.7 per cent increase in rent, with the median rent price for new tenancies jumping by $20 to $320 per week.

Mr Druitt expects to tight market to get even tighter.

“The March quarter is traditionally the tightest quarter for rental vacancies with the figure in March last year falling to an historic low of 0.8 per cent,” he said.

Despite rising rent prices, research released this week showed Perth’s property market had the lowest average yields for both houses and apartments in the nation.

Figures compiled by property market analysts RP Data put the average gross rental yield on a house in Perth at 3.41 per cent and 3.88 per cent for an apartment.

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