Author: REIWA President Damian CollinsThe Perth property market continued to show positive signs in both the rental and sales market during the September 2020 quarter. From a sales perspective, the median house sale price, sales volumes and listings for sale all recorded an increase. Median sale price Perth’s median house sale price rose 0.3 per cent to $477,000 in the September quarter, while the median unit price fell 1.1 per cent to $370,000. reiwa.com analysis shows 58 per cent of suburbs in Perth experienced stable or increased median house price growth during the quarter. The Perth suburbs to record the most notable increase in median price were Brabham, Kelmscott, Claremont, Roleystone, and Swan View. Sales activity There were 9,599 properties sold during the quarter, which is 21 per cent more than the June quarter and seven per cent more than the September 2019 quarter. While many real estate experts predicted that COVID-19 would have a significant impact on the market, in Western Australia things have picked up quite well and are not only back on track to where they were expected to be prior to the pandemic, however they are also exceeding last year’s activity. reiwa.com data shows 66 per cent of suburbs experienced increased volumes during the quarter. The suburbs which recorded the most notable increase in sales activity growth were Erskine, Quinns Rock, Nollamara, Hillarys and Baldivis. Listings for sale There were 10,540 properties for sale on reiwa.com at the end of the quarter, which is up two per cent on the June quarter and 21 per cent lower than the September 2019 quarter. Over the last year we have seen sales listings slowly decrease, with levels currently sitting at a 12-year low. While it is pleasing to see listings increase slightly over the quarter, it is still a large drop to what we were seeing one year ago. Median days to sell and discounting It took sellers a median of 28 days to sell their property, which is 21 days quicker than the June quarter and 46 days quicker than the September 2019 quarter. While 42 per cent of sellers needed to offer a discount on their original asking price to achieve a sale, a significant portion (58 per cent) are achieving sale prices at or above their original asking price, which suggests many sellers are heeding the advice of their real estate agent and pricing their properties in line with market expectations. Perth rental market During the September quarter, Perth’s rental market demonstrated some interesting results, with the vacancy rate sitting at 0.9 per cent due to stock levels and leasing activity lowering. Median rent price Perth’s median house rent price increased $20 per week to $390 in the September quarter, while the unit rent price increased $15 per week to $350. Median rents have remained relatively stable between January 2018 and December 2019 and have only started to increase over the last few months. However, Perth is still the cheapest capital city to rent in any state across Australia and still well below the $450 plus rents we were seeing during the boom in 2013. Leasing activity There were 10,796 properties leased during the quarter, which is four per cent less than the June quarter and 19 per cent less than the September 2019 quarter. reiwa.com data shows 38 per cent of suburbs experienced increased activity during the quarter. The suburbs which recorded the most notable increase in leasing activity growth were Leeming, Girrawheen, Cottesloe, Kardinya and Wilson. Listings for rent There were 2,914 properties for rent on reiwa.com at the end of the September quarter, which is down 26 per cent on the June quarter and 53 per cent lower than the September 2019 quarter. The decrease that has been experienced was impacted by the continued low levels of investor demand. For stock levels to start increasing, we need to see investors encouraged back into the market. Looking forwardSince the September quarter, we have seen the same trends continue with sales volumes increasing and listings decreasing. We have also seen the vacancy rate continuing to decrease and rental listings declining. If this continues into 2021, we can expect increased upward pressure on the median sale price and median rent price. For those that have been considering selling or investing in property, now is the time to do so. It would seem that after a prolonged downturn, the Perth market has turned the corner and we could have a number of years of positive growth.