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Perth's house prices up 4.5 per cent, market slows

Perth's median house price has risen to $460,000 in the last three months of 2006, up 4.5 per cent, representing a dramatic slow down compared to the rest of the year.
The figures, released by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia, showed that listings were on the rise, indicating that significant heat had been taken out of the market.
"The growth rate of 4.5 per cent, while still very robust, is down from the rate of 8.6 per cent in the (previous) September quarter," REIWA president Rob Druitt said in a statement.
Population growth and the strength of the resources boom-fuelled economy were continuing to put upward pressure on prices, REIWA warned.
"REIWA anticipates further modest growth throughout 2007, which will see affordability become even more of an issue for many people trying to enter the market."
The REIWA sales figures news follows other evidence of a slowdown. Loans to first home buyers also fell, going down about 16 per cent in the three months to November.
"Clearly the absence of first home buyers underpinning the market is having a flow-on effect reflected in the increased stock of listings and fall in sales volume," he said.

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