WA median house price in gradual fall for 15 months

Written by Alan Bourke in Property News on July 22, 2011

Median House Prices WA - Q2 June 2011

Units and premium property still holding up

Preliminary data from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia show that Perth has experienced its fifth consecutive quarter of falls in the median house price.

The reiwa.com data is showing that prices fell by around 2 per cent in the June quarter, notching up 15 months of successive decline.

This is a longer period of price retraction than was experienced in 2008, when prices pulled back for one year only.

The big difference is that in 2008 the median fell by 12 per cent, whereas the last 12 months of decline has been half that rate at 6 per cent.

So, although the fall in median price has been over a longer period the actual fall in price has been more gradual since the median peaked at $505,000 in March 2010.

The median is expected to settle at around $475,000 once all sales data were in which would mean that Perth’s median has returned to the level it was at in December 2007, before the big market correction and GFC which followed.

Our preliminary data and that of Landgate, which together represents around 80 per cent of the market, suggest there has been an increased proportion of sales in the $350,000 – $500,000 range whereas sales in other price segments have declined. It’s notable, though, that sales over $1million remain quite stable and that premium property is holding up.

House sales in the June quarter softened marginally from the March quarter with May recording the strongest activity.

Our early data suggest there has been little movement in the median sale price for multi-residential but turnover for units, villas and townhouses has been stronger than in the previous quarter.

REIWA data show that properties for sale in Perth have been running at around 17,000 for much of the June quarter after peaking at 18,200 during April.

The average number of selling days has increased to 82, the highest level since the 2004-07 boom when it fell to a low of 36 days in mid-2006. Buyers must be patient and realistic about price.

In the rental market the overall median rent is steady at $380 per week, although the vacancy rate has lifted by 9 per cent from 3.2 per cent in March to 3.5 per cent in the June quarter.