SEVERAL western suburbs have seen strong improvements in selling times over the last three years and are selling well below the current Perth average of 66 days.
Churchlands, Dalkeith, Leederville and Claremont were among REIWA’s top 10 suburbs for reduced days on the market from the year to January 2014 to the year to January 2017.
Both Dalkeith and Churchlands saw selling times fall by 15 days over the past three years, while the time to sell fell by 8 days in Claremont and Leederville.
Acton Dalkeith and Cottesloe’s Grant Heymans said selling times in Dalkeith and Claremont had improved over the past year.
“We have seen a steady reduction in stock levels in recent times and they are close to historic lows in these two suburbs,” he said.
“Dalkeith properties are in great demand, with buyers looking for large blocks in a leafy prestigious suburb.
“Over the past 12 months buyers have really struggled to find suitable property as stock levels have dropped as low as 20 properties available for sale across Dalkeith, contributing to a 2.2 per cent growth rate in the last quarter.
“Dalkeith sales are up around 10 per cent in dollar volume year on year.
“The area has also seen high value properties transact in recent times, which indicates buyer confidence at current pricing.”
Mr Heymans said stock levels in Claremont had dropped as low as 60 properties, which was extremely low given there were 3600 dwellings in the suburb.
“The suburb has had a 3.6 per cent growth rate in the last quarter, but has close on 13 per cent less sales in dollar terms,” he said.
“Apartments sold off the plan have been selling very well – many of these sales have been downsizers moving out of the large blocks in Dalkeith and Claremont.
“Young investors have also found these apartments attractive as the depreciation numbers work for them.”
Mr Heymans said across Claremont and Dalkeith, the $1 million to $1.5 million price bracket had been far more active than in the previous 12 months.
“The $2 million to $3 million price points have been selling very well in recent times,” he said.
“These are usually four-bedroom family homes and there has been unprecedented demand for these homes as they serve the private school precinct.
“As traffic conditions deteriorate we see more families wanting to move closer to the private school zones.
“There are also very few executive rental properties available creating more demand in the sales arena.”
While proximity to private schools was supporting demand for homes in Claremont and Dalkeith, Abel McGrath Leederville property consultant Adam Marchant said the ongoing development of the cafe strip infrastructure was behind the interest in Leederville.
“There is a real sense of community which has continuity all the way from Mt Hawthorn to Leederville, West Leederville and Subiaco’s Rokeby Road,” he said.
“This includes the Scarborough Beach Road infrastructure which appears to be linking along Oxford Street to bind this remarkable swath of prime inner-city living.
“There are fabulous restaurants, shops and entertainment options which have a huge attraction for upwardly mobile professional couples, small families and downsizers.”
Mr Marchant said Leederville,with an average selling time of 35 days,was seeing a lot of activity in the $700,000 to $800,000 range for homes on smaller divisions.
“Full blocks with existing homes operate more in the low million range, and neighbouring West Leederville has strong support in the full spectrum all the way into the $1.8 million plus,” he said.
“There is still a level of oversupply in the apartment sector but there are some great products with clever design and architectural influence which is compensating.
“We are certainly moving away from the older-style apartments in order to attract a more discerning market.”
Bexleys Real Estate principal Mark Smith said proximity to schools and value for money was part of Churchlands’ appeal.
“Not only do you get a decent-sized block and home, it is also located in an area with access to excellent schools and sporting facilities, meaning families do not need to relocate from primary to high school, interrupting the kids’ education,” he said.
Mr Smith said homes with plenty of yard space and enough room for the family were in demand, along with executive-style homes finished to a high standard, such as those in the Churchlands Green development.
“The homes that have been built in recent years are in quite high demand due to the contemporary architecture and low-maintenance appeal, however the homes built in the 1980s and 2000s are enjoying good demand as well due to the larger block sizes on offer and the potential for new owners to do some work to update the internal styling, which improves the overall value of the property going forward,” he said.
Mr Smith said properties in the $1 million to $2 million range were selling well, but Churchlands’ appeal was not limited to the higher price brackets.
“Churchlands also offers smaller scale living, with apartments and townhouses, where first-home buyers/couples are seeking affordable homes close to all amenities,” he said.
“We have apartments and townhouses around the Waterway Court/Herdsman Lake district that are selling in the range of $260,000 to $400,000 and above.”
When it came to sellers increasing their chance of a quick sale,Mr Marchant said correct pricing was important, with the market now highly educated.
“There is an abundance of sales data at everyone’s fingertips and since the 2008 correction most buyers perform comprehensive due diligence,” he said.
“We are finding buyer volume at home opens to be high as long as there is alignment with the market.”
While character homes were in demand in Leederville, Mr Marchant said sellers needed to give thought to whether they renovated or not and seek advice from an agent about where they should spend their money.
“A seller needs to get more than a dollar back for a dollar spent and generally bathrooms and kitchens pay back,” he said.
“Obviously simple cosmetic improvements, from paint to garden mulching, help create an emotive response from buyers.”
Mr Heymans said buyers were more sensitive to appearance than ever.
“The initial impression does matter,” he said.
“A garden tidy up, paint makeover and furniture staging will bring a good return on investment. Investment in marketing remains paramount as buyers are coming from a wider area than ever.”
Mr Heymans said renovated homes were selling well in Claremont and Dalkeith.
“There is a decreased appetite from buyers to renovate,” he said.
“Some sellers are finding that even a light makeover of around $20,000 makes a significant difference in interest levels and sales follow quickly.”