ACTON, a Western Australia-based group with more than 20 offices, has posted strong year-on-year sales growth on the back of a rapidly improving residential property market.
General manager of ACTON Real Estate Craig Wildman said the Group had posted strong sales month after month, with June’s figures 72.19 per cent higher than June last year and numbers rising each quarter.
"Sales for the June quarter were 52.02 per cent higher than for the 2012 June quarter, while sales for the financial year were 49.49 per cent higher than the 2011/2012 financial year," he said.
"We have also seen the south west and premium end of the market improve strongly - two areas that were hardest hit by the GFC [global financial crisis] and subsequent market slowdown."
At the end of the last financial year, listings were close to 13,000 but we're now sitting at a stable figure of between 8,000 and 9,000.
This was good news for both buyers and sellers, Mr Wildman said.
“Sellers are finding that properties are selling in shorter timeframes, there is less discounting, and prices are showing some gentle growth," he said.
For buyers, interest rates had fallen to record lows, making houses more affordable and as sellers were pricing to meet the market, buyers - particularly first home buyers - were getting good value for money.
Mr Wildman said tenants and investors also saw some benefits.
"The rental market has stabilised over the last six months, following a shortage of rental listings and rising rents at the beginning of 2013," said Mr Wildman.
“There was initial panic, with tenants worried about finding a place to rent and then being able to afford it. However, the number of properties available for rent has almost doubled over the year, reducing the urgency and competitiveness among tenants.”
For investors, the general vacancy rate of 3.2 per cent showed there was still a good demand for rental properties.
“Some areas are in very high demand, with multiple applications received for available properties,” he said.
“For investors buying property over the year, there was also the chance to positively gear property in some locations, as prices have been very reasonable, and yields have also been good.”