Demand for WA units grows in tight property market – REIWA 

WA Units are selling almost as quickly as houses as desperate buyers seek to enter the property market. 

According to www.reiwa.com data, houses sold in a median of eight days in February, while units sold in a median of nine days.

REIWA CEO Cath Hart said houses have been selling quickly for some time, but the speed of unit sales has accelerated in the past few months.

“Units are selling 13 days faster than they did a year ago,” Ms Hart said.

Traditionally buyers prefer houses – we all like to have our own patch of land, and houses generally perform better than units in terms of capital growth. However, competition for houses is high, many buyers are missing out and they are turning to the unit market to find a home.

House prices have risen strongly in recent years, while units have remained relatively stable. This makes units a more affordable option for people seeking home ownership, particularly first home buyers or tenants looking to escape the rental roundabout.”

According to www.reiwa.com data, the fastest selling suburbs in February were Parmelia, Camillo, Cooloongup, Craigie and Kardinya (four days); and Coolbellup, Forrestfield, Golden Bay, Heathridge and Meadow Springs (five days).

The fastest selling suburbs for units were Atwell (four days); Spearwood, Tuart Hill and Wembley (five days); and Midland, Balga, Bentley, Dianella, Joondalup and Nollamara (six days). 

Perth sales market

The growing demand for units is seeing prices start to rise at a greater rate. The median unit sale price increased 1.2 per cent in January and was 3.8 per cent higher year-on-year.

The suburbs that saw the most unit sale price growth in February were Mosman Park (up 4.8 per cent to $380,000), Mandurah (up 3.7 per cent to $340,000), Claremont (up 2.8 per cent to $730,000), Tuart Hill (up 2.6 per cent to $395,000) and Belmont (up 2.4 per cent to $386,000). 

The median house sale price rose 0.8 per cent to $605,000 over the month. This was 10 per cent higher than February 2023.

The suburbs that saw the most house sale price growth in February were Como (up 4.1 per cent to $1,150,000), Two Rocks (up 2.9 per cent to $515,000), Southern River (up 2.6 per cent to $736,000), Armadale (up 2.6 per cent to $400,000) and Greenfields (up 2.3 per cent to $452,000).

Listings for sale

Active listings* rose slightly in February, settling at 3,991 at the end of the month. This was 5.1 per cent higher than January but remained 43.6 per cent lower than a year ago.

Ms Hart said properties were still coming to market in good numbers, but demand exceeded supply, keeping active listings low.

“A review of our data shows new listings for houses in the past 12 months were just 2.2 per cent below the five-year average and unit listings were 12.8 per cent higher.

“However, house sales by REIWA members have been 8.5 per cent higher than the five-year average, while unit sales have been 30.6 per cent higher.

“This is why active listings remain so low.

“At the moment new listings coming to market are slightly outpacing the number of sales, which is why we’re seeing active listings rise.”

Perth rental market

Rent prices increased again in February.

The median dwelling rent rose to $630 per week. This was 2.4 per cent higher than January and 18.9 per cent higher than a year ago.

The median weekly rent for houses increased 1.2 per cent over the month and 18.2 per cent year on year to $650. The median weekly rent for units held steady at $580 but was 18.4 per cent higher than 12 months ago.

According to www.reiwa.com, the suburbs that saw the most growth in their median weekly dwelling rent price in February were Applecross (up 25 per cent to $850), North Fremantle (up 23.8 per cent to $990), Coolbellup (up 23.1 per cent to $613), East Fremantle (up 23.1 per cent to $800) and Kewdale (up 21.8 per cent to $670).

Listings for rent

There were 1,728 properties available for rent on www.reiwa.com at the end of February. This was 8.4 per cent lower than January 2024 and 1.1 per cent lower than the same time last year.

Ms Hart said rental supply remained challenging.

“We have been hearing a lot about Eastern States investors snapping up property in Perth and increased lending to investors, but we haven’t yet seen an increase in the number of rental properties,” she said.

“The problem is local investors are still leaving the market and these new investors are essentially replacing those that have left. 

“We are going to need to see sustained increases in investor lending before we see a significant change in supply.”

Median leasing times

Homes leased in a median of 15 days during February, one day faster than January but one day slower than a year ago.

www.reiwa.com data showed the suburbs recording the fastest median leasing times were Cannington (five days); Spearwood (seven days); Bertram, Inglewood and Leederville (eight days); Glendalough and, Shenton Park (nine days); Butler, Dawesville and Hamilton Hill (10 days).

* Active listings – the number of properties advertised on www.reiwa.com at any given time. New listings – new properties listed for sale. 

 

Related Reading:

Advice for Eastern States investors looking to purchase in WA | The Real Estate Conversation

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