Property market activity lifts in December quarter

Stock image.
Stock image.

PRICES are still declining, but activity is picking up in the Perth market, with properties in the December quarter 2019 selling over two weeks faster than in the September quarter.

Reiwa data showed it took 67 days on average to sell a home in that period, 16 days faster than in the previous quarter, and the fastest time to sell since December 2017.

That was not the only improvement, president Damian Collins said the discount sellers were accepting from the original sales price also dropped from 7.5 per cent to 6.8 per cent.

If the trend continued into 2020 he said Perth could finally see median prices start to rise.

However they maintained their downward slide in the December quarter, with the median house price down 1.4 per cent to $478,000.

“The Perth unit median was also slightly lower at $375,000, however we have seen an improvement in the vacant land median, which has risen 2.1 per cent to $245,000 since the December 2018 quarter,” Mr Collins said.

Despite the overall reduction, reiwa.com analysis showed 113 suburbs in Perth recorded a stable or increased median price during the reporting period.

Stirling saw the biggest improvement with a 7 per cent increase in its median house price.

This was closely followed by Safety Bay, Spearwood, Floreat and Scarborough.

There were 7,418 properties sold during the December quarter, 8 per cent less than same time in 2018.

Mr Collins said this figure was also below the September quarter sales figure, which was not unusual given activity tended to slow in the lead up to Christmas.

“Reiwa.com data shows there were fewer sales recorded in all price ranges during the quarter, which is consistent with trends typically observed at this time of year,” he said.

“Despite overall activity declining, there were a few suburbs that recorded an improvement in sales activity during the December quarter.

“The top five performing suburbs were Maylands, Belmont, Spearwood, Golden Bay and Wembley.”

The number of homes for sale also decreased over the quarter, down 7 per cent on the previous quarter to 12,410 properties at the end of December, and 23 per cent lower than the same time last year.

Mr Collins said a number of factors had contributed to the decline.

“Firstly, this is a common seasonal trend we observe, with reiwa.com data showing listings for sale are usually lower in December than September,” he said.

“Secondly, analysis shows good, quality stock is being snapped up fairly quickly, which is shown from both the improvements to average days to sell and the discount sellers are accepting – ultimately this means stock is being absorbed at a quicker rate.

“While we don’t expect to see rapid growth in the Perth property market in 2020, Reiwa’s outlook suggests sales volumes could start to increase this year.

“With house prices in Perth remaining relatively affordable and consumer confidence levels on the incline, this could translate into increased activity throughout the year.”

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