In line with seasonal trends, leasing activity in Perth’s rental market moderated slightly in December, dropping back 2 per cent over the month.
However, when compared to December 2015, activity escalated by 27 per cent.
REIWA President Hayden Groves says a slowdown in leasing activity across the month is expected as people prepare for the holidays.
“So a 2 per cent drop isn’t a concern,” he said.
Mr Groves also said the hike in the number of properties leased on an annual basis is “very pleasing”, especially since there has been a significant increase compared to December 2015.
“Despite listings for rent remaining above the long-term average, tenants are still very active in the market and recognise they have good choice to secure a home at a competitive price,”
Perth’s median house price increased by nearly 2 per cent in the three months to December 2016, but listings in the city dropped 11 per cent during the same period.
Mr Groves said it is not unusual for listing volumes to drop off in December as the market tends to be quieter over the festive period.
“More significantly though, listings in December 2016 were 3 per cent lower than in December 2015 which is a good indication that we’ve seen supply peak,” Mr Groves said.
He pointed to reiwa.com data which showed the median house price had lifted 1.9 per cent to $535,000 over the three-month period.
“This is the second month in a row that we’ve seen an increase in the median house price, which is a welcome trend and suggests that the trade-up sector of the market is recovering.
“Since the second half of 2016, we’ve seen prices across the metro area start to lift on a monthly basis.”
Mr Groves said buyers waiting for the bottom of the market would be wise to make a decision soon.
“The benefit of buying now is that there is currently less competition from other buyers, so you’re more likely to find a home or investment property that genuinely meets your needs.”
Another positive sign for the Perth rental market is that the median house and unit prices remained steady over the three months to December 2016, holding at $380 and $340 per week respectively.