Increased first home buyer activity and a lift in turnover of higher priced properties have bolstered Perth’s median house price, which rose 3 per cent in the December quarter.
Preliminary data from the Real Estate Institute of WA (REIWA) released today reveals the median house price in the city increased to $495,000 in the December quarter, up from $480,000 from the previous quarter.
REIWA president David Airey said the rise could be attributed to a significant increase in higher priced properties changing hands through trade-up buyers.
“We have recorded more activity in the $600,000 to $700,000 range, as well as with homes over $800,000,” he said.
Strong activity was recorded in the western suburbs, Mr Airey said, with sales surging by 57 per cent on the September quarter while higher turnover was experienced in the southern part of the City of Joondalup and in the western part of City of Stirling.
There was also a marked increase in sales within the $350,000 to $400,000 range for units, apartments, villas and townhouses.
First home buyer activity also contributed strongly to the stronger property market, with grants paid in WA increasing by 28 per cent to 17,171 in 2012, the state division of the Urban Development Institute of Australia said.
“Throughout 2011/12 first home buyer momentum drove the recovery of the property market in Perth,” UDIA (WA) chief executive Debra Goostrey said.
First home buyers accounted for 33 per cent of all owner occupier dwelling finance in the first 11 months of 2012, compared with the ten-year average of 27 per cent.
Property listings in Perth was down by 32 per cent from more than 13,000 to 9200, including 1800 blocks of land, which Mr Goostrey intepreted as a positive as first home buyers were absorbing existing stock.
“The latest loan data indicates that the second phase recovery of the property market is commencing with the return of the middle market.”
Mr Airey said the buyers now have more confidence and sellers were meeting the market with better pricing, resulting in selling days dropping from 71 to 62 for the December quarter.
The level of discounting on house prices was down from almost 60 per cent in the September quarter to about 55 per cent, he added.
Preliminary settlements data from UDIA show the median land price in Perth increased 8.3 per cent to $260,000 over the September quarter.
Meanwhile dwelling commencements in WA jumped 23.6 per cent in the September quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Nationally there was an increase of 2 per cent for the same period.