Market conditions in the March quarter suggest that housing affordability remains an east coast issue, says REIWA president Hayden Groves.
Mr Groves says while home ownership is becoming increasingly difficult in some parts of Australia, this isn’t the case in Perth.
“First home buyers remain active and continue to take advantage of improved affordability and choice in the market to secure a property that meets their needs,” he said.
“These factors, combined with record low interest rates, makes for positive buying conditions for those looking for a first home.”
Perth’s median house price slipped over the quarter, with the preliminary median coming in at $505,000 for the three months to March 2017.
“This softening in median price is due to the ongoing trend of comparatively more transactions occurring in the lower end of the market, with fewer sales of properties in the $700,000 to $1.5 million price range,” Mr Groves said.
“However, once all transactions have been accounted for, it’s likely the median will lift to around $517,000, just shy of December’s quarterly median.”
Perth’s preliminary median unit price held up reasonably well over the quarter, coming in at $411,750 for the three months to March 2017.
“In the unit market, although there were more transactions occurring in the $350,000 to $450,000 price range, early indications suggest there was also a boost in volumes between $600,000 and $1 million, which has kept the unit median strong over the quarter,” Mr Groves said.
The preliminary total dwelling sales figure for WA came in at 6,496 for the three months to March 2017.
Mr Groves said this figure was below the revised December quarter 2016 sales figure, which wasn’t unusual.
“Although preliminary total WA dwelling sales figures are down compared to the December quarter, once all transactions for the March quarter have been recorded, we expect this figure to lift to approximately 8,500, putting this quarter’s activity levels on par with the December 2016 quarterly figures,” he said.
“Additionally, early indicators suggest a rebound in house sales in the Perth metro area for the March quarter, with transactions expected to lift to around 6,500. This would put house sales volumes in the Perth metro region for the March quarter up significantly higher than the December quarter 2016 and marginally above the same time last year.
“These stable, moderately improving market conditions provide for equitable buying and selling conditions for both buyers and sellers.”