24/10/2012 - 02:03

Rates, rents lift sentiment

24/10/2012 - 02:03

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Rates, rents lift sentiment

HOMEBUYERS in Western Australia remain generally positive in their outlook for the market, despite a recent Real Estate Institute of Western Australia report showing sales turnover and property listings down over the September quarter.

Falling interest rates and good rental returns were key factors behind upbeat buyer sentiment, the Property Council of Australia-ANZ Property Industry Confidence survey indicated.

The survey of about 3,500 professionals in the property and construction industry revealed a drop in WA’s index score by 16 points for the December quarter, to 120.

Respondents were not so optimistic on the question of state economic growth, however, with the index score dropping from 130 to 98 between the September and December quarters.

Expectations about price growth for commercial offices remained positive, however, despite the score dropping from 141 to 117 between the September and December quarters.

“The outlook for commercial office, industrial and retirement living property remains sound, with continuing strong planned construction activity in those segments of the market,” ANZ head of property research Paul Braddick said in a statement.

A separate national survey of homebuyers by the Commonwealth Bank/Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia revealed that households are at their highest level of financial confidence since 2011.

About three quarters of the 1,423 people surveyed expected house prices to either grow or remain stable to the end of the year.

New data from REIWA revealed Perth’s median house price remained stable over the September quarter, while sales turnover dropped by about 4 per cent.

The REIWA report also found property listings fell by 14 per cent during the quarter to 10,400, below the usual 12,000.

Property listings have fallen 30 per cent during the past 12 months

This has caused the rental market to tighten, with the vacancy rate sitting at 1.8 per cent and the median rental rate reaching $450 per week.

Blackbume Property Group managing director Paul Blackbume has seen a similar picture emerging in his business.

“Because of the shortage of supply in rental markets and the influx of around 1000 people moving to WA every week, the demand is strong and this is leading more people to consider buying rather than renting,” he said.

 

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