30/04/2015 - 04:57

This week's property round-up

30/04/2015 - 04:57

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Another long weekend, another dip in sales activity.

This week's property round-up

Another long weekend, another dip in sales activity.

The increasing sales activity of the past two weeks following the Easter break has been punctured by another dip in reported activity last week due to the ANZAC weekend.

However we should expect to see a more stable pattern of activity merging across the balance of the year as the weekly sales graphic since 2013 highlights the volatility that the market experiences in the first four months of the year due to long weekends.

Looking at last week’s figures, overall activity was off 20% to 556 with south of the river sales (262) dipping 26% compared to 14% in the north (294).

The softer activity has also contributed to listings lifting back above the pre-Easter level to the highest level since March 2012 (14,358). As expected, rental listings have passed through the 7,000 mark which puts it 38% above the same time last year and 73% above the June quarter 2013 level when the median rent peaked in this cycle.   

In the six months since we last reviewed the Perth rental market graphic, the overall median rent has continued to trend down as the vacancy rate rises.

After a brief pause in the September quarter 2014 when the median rent stabilised at $450/week and the vacancy rate dropped marginally from 4.1% to 4.0%, the market has responded to the impact of weaker demand from lower population growth and a burgeoning stock of property for lease.

The latest data for the March quarter has seen the overall median rent fall to $430/week which is now 9.5% down on the June quarter 2013 peak of $475.

This latest figure takes the median rent back to June 2012 levels when rents were experiencing double digit growth as the vacancy rate headed to a cyclical low of 1.8% in September that year.

Despite the strong seasonal demand for rental property in January-February which often results in the vacancy rate falling, the growth of property for lease has seen the vacancy rate rise to 4.4% for the March quarter.

This figure is expected to climb as the listing stock grows on the back of weakening demand as households are expected to exit the rental sector to take up much of the new dwelling stock under construction which featured in this column two weeks ago.

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