27/04/2012 - 15:54

REIWA numbers show confidence returning

27/04/2012 - 15:54

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REIWA numbers show confidence returning

Confidence is returning to the residential property sector, the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia says, with a strong lift in sales activity across the state in the March quarter.

REIWA released its preliminary data for the March quarter today, which showed turnover in the metropolitan area was at its highest point in two years.

Perth’s median house price was stable at around $467,000, REIWA said, a sixth-consecutive steady month.

“Many potential buyers are coming to realise that the market has bottomed out and now might be time to move, REIWA president David Airey said.

“Particularly seeing as rents have increased to the point where the difference between renting and paying an affordable mortgage is not so great.”

Mr Airey said the lift in activity was not restricted to the metropolitan area, with turnover in Mandurah up by around 40 per cent, while Bunbury and Geraldton grew by around 15 per cent.

“Interestingly in Perth, the strong area of buying has been with multi-residential dwellings such as apartments and villas,” Mr Airey said.

“Turnover for these is up 20 per cent on December which is quite exceptional given that just six months ago in the December quarter of 2011, turnover for multi-residential stock was at its lowest point since 1998.”

Mr Airey said the upturn in sales for flats, units, villas and townhouses was due to an increase in investor activity and pre-sales from new developments.

In the rental market, Perth’s vacancy rate remains at 1.9 per cent, with median rents stable at $420 per week.

Mr Airey said vacancy rates had slipped to 0.9 per cent in Kalgoorlie and 1.1 per cent in Broome.

“The rental situation is better in Mandurah at 2.9 per cent, Bunbury at 3 per cent, Geraldton at 2.5 per cent and Albany on 4.1 per cent.”

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