Sales volumes rose sharply in some parts of WA in the March quarter, according to preliminary data from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA).
“Turnover in metropolitan Perth is at its highest point in two years and most regional centers are showing strong upswings as well,” REIWA president David Airey said.
The Institute’s data showed turnover in Mandurah up by about 40 per cent, while Bunbury and Geraldton are up by around 15 per cent.
“Interestingly in Perth, the strong area of buying has been with multi-residential dwellings such as apartments and villas,” he said. “Turnover for these is up by 20 per cent on December which is quite exceptional given that just six months ago in the September quarter of 2011, turnover for multi-residential stock was at its lowest point since 1998.”
Mr Airey attributed the upturn in sales for flats, units, villas and townhouses to an increase in investor activity and pre-sales from new developments.
REIWA data show the Perth median house price to be stable at around $467,000, indicating that house prices have now stopped sliding for six months.
“I think many potential buyers are coming to realise that the market has bottomed out and now might be the time to move. Particularly seeing as rents have increased to the point where the difference between renting and paying an affordable mortgage is not so great,” Mr Airey said.
The Perth rental market is still showing a tight vacancy rate at 1.9 per cent, with the median rent resting at $420 per week.
“Our members are also reporting very tight vacancy rates in some regions including just 0.9 per cent in Kalgoorlie and 1.1 per cent in Broome.”
“The rental situation is better in Mandurah at 2.9 per cent, Bunbury at three per cent, Geraldton at 2.5 per cent and Albany on 4.1 per cent,” Mr Airey said.
REIWA will be releasing its full and final data for the quarter on Friday 4 May.