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  • Positive median house price growth in regional WA in December quarter

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    Six* out of the 12 centres across regional WA experienced positive median house price growth in the December quarter 2016.

    REIWA President Hayden Groves said the strong showing was an optimistic sign for the regions and it had had a positive effect on regional WA’s overall annual median house price, with preliminary Landgate data showing it lifted 1.4 per cent over the quarter to $355,000.

    “Although sales activity in Northam was subdued in the December quarter, it was the best performing regional centre for median house price growth, with its quarterly change in the annual median increasing 18.6 per cent in the three months to December 2016.

    “Other top performers for median house price growth were Busselton Urban Area and Esperance Urban Area, which experienced lifts of 12.1 and 7.1 per cent respectively,” Mr Groves said.

    The Broome and Port Hedland regional centres had the most notable softening of median house price in the December quarter.

                   Regional centre

    Annual median house price

    (Year to December 2016)

    Quarterly change in the

    annual median house price

    Albany Urban Area $380,000 ↑3.8%
    Broome Urban Area  $475,000  ↓12.8% 
    Bunbury Greater  $380,000  ↑4.1%
    Busselton Urban Area  $480,000  ↑12.1%
    Esperance Urban Area  $337,500  ↑7.1%
    Geraldton/Greenough  $312,500  ↓4.7% 
    Kalgoorlie/Boulder  $334,750  ↑1.4%
    Karratha Urban Area  $265,000  ↓1.9% 
    Mandurah/Murray  $372,000  ↓2.1% 
    Northam  $255,000  ↑18.6% 
    Port Hedland  $262,500  ↓6.3% 

    Sales activity

    Sales volumes were down across regional WA in the December quarter, with preliminary Landgate data showing 1,264 transactions.

    Mr Groves said this figure was expected to lift to around 1,500 once all sales had settled.

    “Albany and Broome were the strongest performers for sales activity over the quarter, bucking the trend to record stable volume levels. Once all sales have settled for the quarter, we expect Broome Urban Area’s revised sales figure to have recorded an increase,” Mr Groves said.

    REIWA analysis shows the bulk of regional sales transactions in the December quarter remained in the $150,000 to $360,000 price range.

    “In Bunbury and Albany, while the majority of transactions were below $500,000, both regional centres saw an increase in activity in the higher end of the market, which has contributed to the quarterly median house price for both areas lifting,” Mr Groves said.

    Average selling days and discounting

    It was, on average, two days faster to sell a property in regional WA in the December quarter than it was in the September quarter.

    “Drilling down, six of the regional centres saw improvements in the number of days it took to sell a property. Albany and Bunbury were among the most improved, with it being 17 and 10 days quicker (respectively) to achieve a sale in those centres,” Mr Groves said.

    Other regional centres to record an improvement in average selling days over the quarter were Northam, Esperance Urban Area, Mandurah/Murray and Geraldton/Greenough, while the Karratha Urban Area was unchanged on the September quarter.

    When it came to discounting, the proportion of sellers needing to drop their asking price over the quarter remained stable in comparison to the September quarter at 63.89 per cent.

    “We did however see a decline in the amount sellers were needing to reduce their asking price by, which would have been a contributing factor to regional WA’s overall median increasing in the December quarter,” Mr Groves said.

    *Carnarvon Urban Area’s annual median house price also increased over the quarter, however due to recording fewer than five sales over the quarter, this region has been omitted.