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Flat market strengthens as first home buyers return

21 May 2018 Eliot Hastie
Property market, house market

First home buyers have returned to the Perth property market in the first quarter of 2018, renewing strength in the market.

New data from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia shows an increase in Perth sales for properties priced $500,000 and below.

REIWA president Hayden Groves said that after a decline of first home buyer activity in the December 2017 quarter, it was promising to see a strengthened market in 2018.

“Last quarter, there were significantly more sales in the higher priced end of the market and less in the first home buyer price range. It’s been a different story this quarter, with the balance of sales shifting back to the lower end of the market,” Mr Groves said.

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In the March quarter of 2018, there was a 5.7 per cent increase in house sales in the sub $500,000 price range, the president said.

“Increased activity in the lower end of the market is usually a sign [that] first home buyers are active. We are fortunate the dream of home ownership is more attainable for West Australians than it is on the east coast,” Mr Groves said.

Perth’s median house price in the March 2018 quarter was $510,00, which is expected to increase once all sales settle.

Even if the figure increases to $517,000, the March 2018 quarter median would be 0.6 per cent lower than that of the December 2017 quarter.

“Although Perth’s media house price experienced a minor adjustment during the March 2018 quarter, the median house price is up [by] 0.4 per cent when compared to the same time last year, which shows prices are stable,” Mr Groves said.

The unit price is currently $401,000 for the quarter but is expected to lift once all sales settle.

“This is expected to lift to $410,000 once all sales settle, which would put it equal with the December quarter median,” the president said.

Listings increased by 10.2 per cent over the quarter but were still 2.9 per cent down from the March 2017 quarter.

“While it is pleasing listings have declined on an annual basis, the increase over the quarter is not cause for alarm,” Mr Groves said.

Perth buyers had more options on the market due to an increase in listings, which did cause an increase in average days on the market to 67.

“With more listings on the market, buyers now have more choice. It’s very encouraging though that, on an annual basis, we’re seeing average selling days decrease,” Mr Groves said.

Mr Groves added that none of the results were unexpected and that the stable conditions were expected to continue throughout the year.

“These results are in line with REIWA’s 2018 forecast, which expects stable conditions throughout the remainder of this year, with moderate price growth during the next 12 months,” Mr Groves said.

Flat market strengthens as first home buyers return
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