The Perth housing market bounced back at the end of last year, with rising sales turnover and growth in median house price, according to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA).
Sales data from REIWA agents suggests growth in the last quarter was close to six per cent, with the median house price climbing to $545,000.
While sales were generally slow in December, REIWA president David Airey said buyer activity remained high throughout the period.
“Sales normally calm down over the Christmas holiday period but that didn’t happen last year,” he said.
This momentum is expected to continue into early 2014.
“The real-time reporting from our members currently indicates that January will also be a bumper month for turnover,” Mr Airey said.
According to the REIWA, a fall in the number of first home buyers and a rise in high-value sales pushed up the median sales price.
“The number of first home buyers has dropped 12 per cent since the June quarter, with a notable fall in sales under $400,000, while at the same time there was an increase in sales over $600,000,” he said.
He believes the fall in the lower end of the market was due to low levels of stock and rising price pressure.
The sale of units also dropped in the last quarter, a trend Mr Airey attributed to a weak investor market.
“Even so, multi-residential dwelling stock enjoyed good growth of almost five per cent for the quarter,” Mr Airey said.
Price growth was strongest in the city of Belmont, with the cities of Fremantle, Gosnells, the western suburbs and the northern end of Joondalup close behind.
In the regions, the Pilbara saw median prices drop and annual turnover at record lows.
In Bunbury, turnover rose by almost 20 per cent over the year, despite a dip in sales in December.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder sales activity continued its decline, with prices trending downwards over the last two years.
The Mandurah-Murray area saw modest price growth but high turnover, while Geraldton-Greenough saw its median price fall.