PERTH median house prices passed $200,000 in February 2003. Over the year to February the median house price grew 13.5 per cent, according to the Real Estate Institute of WA Monthly Property Indicators report.
Property investors remain a strong force in housing demand. In February, investors were responsible for 22 per cent of all property purchases, comparable with the proportion of first home buyers.
While the metropolitan area recorded strong growth it was outstripped by even stronger figures in some of WA’s regional centres. In the past month, Kalgoorlie-Boulder experienced a 4.7 per cent jump in house prices compared with a 2.3 per cent increase in Perth.
The strongest growth in property sales occurred in Mandurah, where the median house price grew by 21.6 per cent to $177,600. Albany prices went up 17 per cent during the year to an average of $175,400; Bunbury, 11.5 per cent; Geraldton, 9.2 per cent; and Kalgoorlie-Boulder 11 per cent.
The increase in house prices has also promoted stronger residential building approvals. WA’s residential building approvals increased by 17.7 per cent between December and January. Building approvals have now risen 11.1 per cent in the past three months and increased by 10.3 per cent, on a seasonally adjusted basis, in the 12 months to January 2003.
This is in sharp contrast to building approvals nationally, which have come sharply off boom conditions to decrease by 2.1 per cent between December and January. They have now fallen by 26.3 per cent in the past three months and fell by 3 per cent through the year to January 2003.