These comments are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the current opinions and policies of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.
Sales volumes remain remarkably low across Western Australia with 6753 dwelling sales in the September quarter; about half the number compared to a decade ago. It is likely that 2018 will reveal a year similar to that of 2017 which recorded the lowest level of sales transactions since 1990. Three of the worst five years in terms of sales activity over the past 30 years have been recorded in the past three years.
In short, the market hasn’t changed much over the past three years; merely drifting along the bottom of the market cycle. Overall, Fremantle’s suburbs showed signs of improvement since September last year with most median house prices lifting during the past 12 months.
North Fremantle lead the charge with a 12.3 per cent yearly increase, returning an on-average 0.8 per cent increase since September 2008. White Gum Valley continues to impress as a destination suburb with 54 house sales in the past year and a 8.9 per cent jump in median price. South Fremantle’s median house price hit $1,095,000 in the September quarter despite most local residents there gorging on smashed avo breakfasts. South Freo boasts the best annual return longer term with prices rising there by 4.5 per cent annually over the past five years.
Beaconsfield’s median dipped 0.4 per cent to $690,000, Hilton similarly by 0.9 per cent to $525,000 whereas Fremantle itself rose by 2.6 per cent in the year over 73 house sales. Samson’s median nudged $600,000 a 4 per cent improvement on last year. East Fremantle had 62 house sales returning a 2.2 per cent improvement in median price now at $1,140,000.
North Coogee’s ups and downs seemed to have abated with a steady 2 per cent rise in median house price over the 28 homes sold at $1,157,500. Spearwood was flat over the year with 146 sales as was Hamilton Hill with 143 sales at a median of $480,000, 0.8 per cent up on last year.
Fremantle’s apartment sales were strong with 113 sold during the September quarter with prices lifting 6 per cent from June. Over the year, the apartment median has improved 9.3 per cent to sit at $530,000.
The rental market has stabilised with no change in median rents since April 2017 and with stock levels falling and demand improving, the rental market is often the pre-cursor to broader improvement across all markets.
Market sentiment is overall better than a year ago but with credit tight and likely changes to negative gearing and Capital Gains Tax looming, buyers remain well placed to buy whilst prices remain affordable.
by Hayden Groves
REIA Deputy President