Prices shine in the sun

SUMMER may well be the best time to sell homes.

Perth sales for the 1999 December quarter were 39 per cent higher than the September quarter, according to figures released by the Real Estate Institute of WA.

Regional WA reported an 18 per cent increase for the same period.

L.J. Hooker State regional manager Steve Papadopoulos said their sales increased 20 per cent in this quarter and are showing similar signs this year.

“Most people will transfer jobs during this period and families prefer to move at the end of the year so that their children can start at their new school at the beginning of the new school year,” Mr Papadopoulos said.

Mr Papadopoulos urged people to ignore the recent messages of doom and gloom.

“The market did slow down earlier in the year as a result of the implementation of GST and uncertainty over interest rates. However, each year the number of sales falls over winter regardless,” he said.

“Confidence is returning to the market as people realise that the GST has not caused a sharp rise in prices and there is talk of interest rate stability.”

REWA also believes signs are emerging that new housing commencements have reached the bottom of the recent slump.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that nationally, approvals for new building rose 6 per cent in October – the first time approvals have risen since January.

However the approvals are still 39 per cent lower than the same period in 1999 and home lending data released by the ABS show a 4 per cent decline in October.

In the full year to October housing finance commitments were down 17 per cent.

REIWA president Graham Joyce said the next few months would be a period of consolidation in the industry.

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