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September’s quarterly numbers from the Real Estate Institute reveal the number of property transactions throughout Perth continues to decline, down 32 per cent on the June quarter. Land sales have fallen by about half in twelve months. Once all the numbers are in, apartment transactions are likely to sit at levels commensurate with the previous 4 quarters at about 1200 sales; a solid result.
Median house prices drifted back 4.1 per cent on the June quarter, preliminarily reported to be $510,000 but expected to settle at about $530,000. The median price for apartments bounced back from the June quarter rising 3.7 per cent to sit at $425,000. The composition of the market had most of the action occurring in lower priced brackets with 53 per cent of transactions for the quarter selling for less than $500,000 – demonstrating first home buyers remain active. Only 8 per cent of transactions were for property priced over $1,000,000 although 63.4 per cent of the market was considered in the “trade-up” category.
Fremantle’s median house price shrunk 1 per cent for the quarter across all suburbs. Postcode 6160 itself was up 2.9 for the quarter. North Fremantle was up amongst the local list with a miserly 0.8 per cent growth for the quarter. South Fremantle has grown 3.9 per cent for the year and Fremantle’s median improved by 5.5 per cent across 62 house sales. Remaining local suburbs have dipped by between 3.4 and 16 per cent for the year.
Fremantle’s 199 apartment sales over the past twelve months revealed an improvement in median price of 5.3 per cent, suggesting the gentrification of Fremantle’s apartment market continues with a median price at $640,000. East Fremantle apartments returned a yearly median of $610,000, South Fremantle flats have grown 8.5 per cent and North Fremantle sits at $802,500 for the year.
Seller sentiment in and around Fremantle is stable with a 4 per cent gap between listing price and selling price. Against trend, 41 per cent of all sellers need to discount from their original list price to sell up from 38 per cent twelve months earlier. Local stock levels continue to fall down 14.8 per cent from last year and it takes an average of 61 days to sell in and around Fremantle, only 2 days longer than a year ago.
The rental market continues to be pressured but locally, we saw a significant 27.6 per cent improvement in the volume of properties leased compared to last year. The overall median rent in Fremantle is $440 per week, 5.9 per cent lower than last year and on average it takes 52 days to find a Fremantle tenant, 17 days longer than just a year ago with 23 per cent more properties listed for rent than last year.
Overall, the stats suggest the market has stabilised and that the “beginning of the bottom” is here. Time to buy perhaps?
By Hayden Groves
REIA Deputy President