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While December usually sees a drop in the number of home sales due to buyers leaving town for the holidays, Perth saw a significant increase in buyer activity last month – suggesting that people are taking advantage of the market conditions while they’re unable to travel, according to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.
“Agents on the ground have reported that good, quality stock is being snapped up fairly quickly, and with listings for sale decreasing 16.5% in December, it is only a matter of time before median prices start to increase,” said REIWA President Damian Collins.
Perth’s median house price remained stable at $480,000 in December, according to data released Monday by REIWA. However, 45% of suburbs saw prices increase during the month. And while REIWA data shows that the Perth median house price has stabilised, figures from CoreLogic show a 1.1% increase in house values last month.
“reiwa.com data reveals Kelmscott saw the largest increase in median sale price in December with a 6.2% increase to $375,000, followed by Yokine with a 4.8% increase to $650,000 and Wellard with a 4% increase to $399,500,” Collins said.
Girrawheen also posted a 4% increase to $310,000. Applecross, which posted a 3.4% increase to $1.5 million, rounded out the top five.
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“Perth remains very favourable for buyers and investors,” Collins said. “However, with REIWA expecting Perth’s median price to grow between six and 10% in the 2021 calendar year, I would advise those who are thinking about purchasing their first home, trading up or investing, to act soon before prices inevitably rise.”
There were 3,655 rental properties leased in Perth last month, a spike of 9% over November. Like home buying, leasing usually slows down in December. However, REIWA data showed that 100 suburbs posted an increase in leasing activity last month, with East Victoria Park, Harrisdale, Cloverdale, Averly and Port Kennedy seeing the largest jumps.
“Other suburbs to perform well were Willetton, Maylands, Clarkson, Bayswater and Applecross,” Collins said.
While leasing activity increased in December, listings declined 14.5% month over month and 56.6% from December 2019.
Perth’s median rent price rose $5 to $395 per week, the highest it has been since February 2016. December was the fourth consecutive month that rents increased.
“In December it is Perth’s higher end of the market which has dominated the top suburbs to see an increase in weekly median rent, with Mount Pleasant and Duncraig increasing 4% to $550 and $520 per week,” Collins said. “This was followed by Applecross, which increased 3% to $650, Alkimos increasing 2.9% to $340, and Wanneroo, which also increased 2.9% to see a $360 per week increase.”
Collins said that with rental stock levels remaining low, rents were expected to continue rising.
“However, we need to remember that rents are still a lot cheaper than they were in 2014,” he said.