Aussie Home Loan’s executive chairman John Symonds predicts Perth’s property market is going to experience gains over 2015 after years of subdued growth.


Mr Symonds says while the east has shown stronger growth than Perth over the past year, Aussie is posting annual record mortgage lending levels in Western Australia. “There is renewed activity in the construction of apartments and houses across the state,” he says.


Domain Group figures show a 1.1 per cent drop in Perth’s median house prices over 2014, which followed close to 10 per cent growth the year before. Senior economist Dr Andrew Wilson says the end of the mining boom and rising unemployment in Western Australia has significantly impacted buyer confidence. However local agents are finding improved activity in the market and suggest foreign buyers could be responsible for the turn around.


House Real Estate principal director Frank Torre, who operates in Cottesloe, says he’s experienced a wave of interest from overseas buyers particularly expats from Singapore. “What we’ve got is a different category of buyers coming into the marketplace and they’ve soaked up a little bit of the slack that’s been created by the domestic market in WA with commodity prices and such falling.”


Mont Property managing director Matthew Podesta, who operates in Applecross and surrounding suburbs, is also finding a lot of interest in unique riverside properties from foreign buyers. “It’s a good time to be buying at the $2 million plus price point as buyer activity has been slow for at least 12 months now and many sellers are ready to negotiate and move on,” he says. “There is definitely good value at the top end of the market at present.”


Abel McGrath Principal Simon McGrath, who works in the western suburbs, says he too is finding an increased interest from Australians returning to WA from overseas and the eastern states and says they’re responsible for the greater number of auctions. “Last year we had done 30 auctions by this year to date, which in terms of eastern states statistics is pathetic but we’ve just completed 120 and what I’m finding is the auction process is inducing people.” “In the eastern states it’s all auctions so buyers coming over are actually expecting auctions not private treaty,” he says.


According to Mr Torre there’s also been greater buyer interest in homes above the $1 million mark, with more people attending auctions and inspections. “In the $3 million to the $5 million sector there was really just a dearth of activity, just a lack of interest but in the last two months it’s been strong.”


Last week, Mr Torre sold this home in Dalkeith for 20 per cent above the reserve price at $3.95 million, which Mr Torre says is, “a record price in the current market”. “The activity has probably been the most consistent and balanced that we’ve seen for a couple of years in both locations and or price bands,” he says.