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Election uncertainty affected Perth property market in March quarter

SPECULATION about the Federal election, now set for May 18, had an effect on the Perth property market in the March quarter according to Reiwa. data shows there were 6,636 properties sold during that period.

“Activity in Perth remains subdued, with sales volumes down on both a quarterly and annual basis,” president Damian Collins said.

“With a federal election looming, it’s not surprising volumes haven’t picked up yet; elections are an uncertain time and typically have an impact on property markets.”

Negative market news from the east coast may have also played a role.

“The changing housing market conditions on the east coast have also likely impacted buyer activity in Perth,” Mr Collins said. “There has been a lot of focus on Sydney and Melbourne’s declining housing markets, which would be affecting buyer sentiment in WA.”

Although overall sales were down, 10 per cent of suburbs experienced stable or increased volumes.

“The suburbs that recorded the most notable increase in sales during the quarter were Yanchep, Manning, Mullaloo, Sorrento and Aveley,” Mr Collins said.

Of all houses sold in Perth during the March quarter, 70 per cent sold below $600,000. “This is up from 64 per cent in the December quarter 2018, which indicates affordability continues to improve in Perth, presenting excellent opportunities for first-home buyers, trade-up buyers, downsizers and investors to secure a good deal,” Mr Collins said.

While sales activity was subdued, data showed median prices held up well, with no further declines to median house and unit prices during the March quarter.

“The March quarter results suggest median property prices in Perth are at or nearing the bottom of the market,” Mr Collins said. “On-the-ground information from our members suggests that the middle and higher-end of the market is tracking reasonably well, signalling some suburbs in this part of the market may be in the early stages of recovery.

"While many suburbs in the lower end still appear to be struggling, there are excellent opportunities available to secure your dream home or investment property at a competitive price.”

Perth’s median house price increased 0.6 per cent to $500,000 in the March quarter.

“On an annual basis, median house prices in Perth are stable, with no change recorded between the March 2018 and 2019 quarters, which is positive,” Mr Collins said. “Similarly, Perth’s unit median price is also stable, holding at $380,000 during the quarter.

While overall market conditions are subdued, analysis showed 37 per cent of Perth suburbs recorded stable or median house price growth during the quarter.

“The Perth suburbs to record the most notable increase in median house price this quarter were Falcon, Karrinyup, Mullaloo, Roleystone and Heathridge, while the top suburbs for median unit price growth were Rockingham, Scarborough, South Perth and Como,” Mr Collins said.

The number of properties for sale increased, with 16,957 properties for sale on at the end of the March quarter, a 6 per cent lift on the December quarter 2018 figure.

“It’s quite common to see listing volumes increase in the March quarter,” Mr Collins said. “We typically observe a decline in listing stock in the lead up to the festive season, before levels rebound early in the New Year.”

It took vendors 78 days on average to sell their property over the reporting period, while 57 per cent of vendors needed to offer a discount on their original asking price to achieve a sale.

“More sellers needed to offer a discount in the March quarter than they did during the December quarter, however the average amount they offered held stable at 7.3 per cent,” Mr Collins said.

“It’s also worth noting that a significant portion (43 per cent) of Perth sellers are achieving sale prices at or above their original asking price, which suggests many vendors are heeding the advice of their real estate agent and pricing their properties in line with market expectations.”

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