Rising prices of housingMarch quarter data by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia show that Perth’s median house price has reached a new record of $510,000.

The previous peak was $505,000 in the March quarter of 2010.

REIWA President David Airey said there had been a 2 per cent increase on the median price from the December quarter which had been driven by a lift in turnover and more sales activity above the median price.

“Our preliminary data for the March quarter show that while the proportion of sales under $500,000 has fallen there was a marked increase in sales between $500,000 and $1 million,” Mr Airey said.

REIWA data show that homes selling for $600,000 to $700,000 and those between $800,000 and $1 million represented some 20 per cent of all sales during the quarter.

“The $600,000 to $700,000 range was the most dominant price point above the median during this period and is a healthy illustration of consumer confidence through trade-up activity,” Mr Airey said.

Mr Airey said that despite a general downturn of sales under $500,000, those homes which sold for between $400,000 and $450,000 showed a slight increase in turnover largely driven by strong first home buyer activity.

“The $400,000 to $450,000 range was the leading price point in the overall market, representing 12 per cent of all sales for the first three months of this year. Sales in this price range are turning over very quickly and the Office of State Revenue reports that in February the median purchase price for first home buyers was $425,000,” Mr Airey said.

Flats, units, apartments and villas are more common in the central part of Perth and indicate a 10 per cent rise in sales during the quarter, suggesting an upturn with investor activity given that around half of all multi-residential property is tenanted.

Suburbs closer to the CBD also saw stronger sales activity during the quarter including within the cities of Bayswater, Belmont, Bassendean, South Perth, Victoria Park and the coastal strip in the City of Stirling.

“These areas are all over the general median price and as such contributed to the overall lift in the market median,” Mr Airey said.

REIWA’s preliminary data indicates that most local government areas had movements in median prices of plus or minus 3 per cent, suggesting that the composition of sales was an influencing factor in the quarter with more expensive homes impacting on price movements.

Nearer to the CBD in the cities of Bayswater, Bassendean, Belmont and Canning where the supply of listings has tightened indications are a median rise of around 4 to 5 per cent.

Increased sales activity was also reported in the more traditional first home buyer areas across the South East Corridor in the cities of Gosnells, Armadale and the Shire of Serpentine- Jarrahdale along with Rockingham, Kwinana and Wanneroo.

Reported land sales are also showing a 10 per cent rise across the quarter.

“The volume of land for sale remained relatively stable across the quarter at around 1,500 lots, while the total number of listings including houses, units and land have remained reasonably steady in recent weeks,” Mr Airey said

REIWA data show listings at around 8,500 properties after starting the year at 9,300.

“The March quarter results show a buoyant market returning to more normal conditions on the back of solid population growth and a strong state economy, ” Mr Airey said.

(Source: REIWA)