ACTON, a WA-based real estate group with 20 offices, has posted a 33 per cent on-year rise in sales in the March quarter.
“Our sales figures for March were 26.0 per cent higher than March 2011, while sales for the quarter were 33.04 per cent higher than the same time last year," said ACTON managing director, Graeme Baxter.
"In another good sign, March quarter sales were 10.37 per cent higher than sales in the December quarter, which itself was a very strong finish to the year."
Mr Baxter said recent mortgage interest rate increases by some of the major banks had done little to dampen buyer demand.
“Regardless of what the banks are doing, people still have faith in the WA economy and their employment prospects, and feel confident to buy and sell,” he said.
Sales growth though hasn't necessarily translated into price growth, he cautioned.
“I believe we’re operating under what I would consider to be fairly normal market conditions, where demand is close to supply and there is no one factor driving prices in either direction," he said. "Sellers can be confident that if their property is realistically priced they will find a buyer in a reasonable time frame."
“We are seeing the increased activity from first homebuyers in 2011 flow on to other areas of the market. The latest data from Real Estate Institute of WA (REIWA) shows turnover in the March quarter reached its highest level since March 2010, just after the first homebuyer boost ended, and we are expecting this current first homebuyer-led recovery to continue well into 2012.
“Investors are also returning to the market, encouraged by the low vacancy rate, stable interest rates, rising rents and somewhat ordinary performance of the stock market.”
Mr Baxter said Mandurah, located to the south of Perth, is one region that has shown a strong increase over the last six months, and the upper end of that market is also seeing consistent improvement.
“Mandurah has something to offer everyone, from first homebuyers through to multi-million dollar canal properties. The area did go through a downturn, but sellers are now very realistic about their pricing, are carefully considering all offers from buyers and are getting good results,” said Mr Baxter.
Another key market indicator is the prestige end of the market and this segment is showing strong signs of good, steady growth in the Western Suburbs and prime riverside locations.