Staff Writers     PerthNow      April 28, 2012

CONSUMER confidence is returning to the state’s property market following a strong increase in sales for the first three months of the year, a local property group says.

Early data released by the Real Estate Institute of WA show that for the March quarter, sales were up across the state, particularly for apartments, villas and townhouses, and also pre-sales in new developments.

“Turnover in metropolitan Perth is at its highest point in two years and most regional centres are showing strong upswings as well,” Mr Airey said.

REIWA’s data shows turnover in Mandurah was up by about 40 per cent, while Bunbury and Geraldton are up by around 15 per cent.

“Interestingly in Perth, the strong area of buying has been with multi-residential dwellings such as apartments and villas,” Mr Airey said.

“Turnover for these is up by 20 per cent on December which is quite exceptional given that just six months ago in the September quarter of 2011, turnover for multi-residential stock was at its lowest point since 1998.”

 The median house price in Perth is around $467,000, which REIWA said was staying steady, indicating house prices have now stopped sliding.

New data out yesterday from Australian Property Monitors also support this, with the organisation saying Perth house prices had risen by 0.1 per cent over the past three months, and the city’s property market, along with Sydney and Brisbane, remain the best prospects for growth this year.

Mr Airey said many potential buyers in WA were starting to realise the property market had bottomed out and were now making the move.

“Particularly seeing as rents have increased to the point where the difference between renting and paying an affordable mortgage is not so great,” Mr Airey said.

The median weekly rent price in Perth is currently at $420 and vacancy rates are tightening, with the metro area at 1.9 per cent.

“Our members are also reporting very tight vacancy rates in some regions including just 0.9 per cent in Kalgoorlie and 1.1 per cent in Broome,” Mr Airey.

“The rental situation is better in Mandurah at 2.9 per cent, Bunbury at 3 per cent, Geraldton at 2.5 per cent and Albany on 4.1 per cent.”
READ MORE: http://www.perthnow.com.au/business/property-sales-show-consumer-confidence-returning-reiwa/story-e6frg2ru-1226341489143