The West

Competition in Perth's housing market is so fierce that real estate agents are offering gift vouchers and other enticements to would-be sellers.

Residents in some suburbs are being offered everything from a $30 Coles-Myer gift voucher in return for a free appraisal of their property to a chance to win a $250 gift voucher if they register their details with an agent.

Agents say the practice is becoming increasingly common as competition for listings heats up.

It comes as two new reports highlight the buoyancy of Perth's property market, including predictions that rents in nearly 200 WA suburbs could at least double in the 10 years from 2008 to 2018.

Professionals property consultant Annette Nicol said the real estate market was getting tighter and offering homeowners an incentive to have their property valued was about building a "rapport".

Ms Nicol has delivered leaflets to Perth, West Perth and Leederville, offering homeowners a Coles Myer gift voucher for a market appraisal.

Attree Real Estate property consultant Paul Devine recently ran a competition in Huntingdale offering a $250 Coles Myer voucher for potential sellers. Mr Devine said about 50 people entered and he picked up some property appraisals in the process.

"It was expensive for me personally but definitely worth it from a branding, database and meeting more of the locals' perspective," he said, adding that some agents offered other incentives such as frequent flyer points.

Mr Devine said the practice of offering freebies was not new but was more common as listing became harder to come by.

RP Data yesterday named 196 suburbs across WA that had recorded annual rental growth rates of 7.2 per cent or more over the past five years. If rents in those suburbs continued to grow at the same pace, they would double in the 10 years to 2018, based on RP calculations.

But RP Data analyst and report co-author Tim Lawless struck a cautious note, saying value appreciation was unlikely to be as strong as it had been in some suburbs.

"Housing market conditions have been much weaker over the past five years and, as such, the suburbs highlighted in this report have achieved a strong performance despite the overall weaker conditions," he said.

"Overall, investors have done well when investing into the housing market over a long period of time, however they now need to be more discerning than they have in the past. This is because value appreciation isn't likely to be as strong over the next 10 years compared to the past 10."

Australian Property Monitors last night released its figures for the March quarter, confirming Perth housing prices had risen for the fifth straight quarter, up 1.3 per cent or 0.3 per cent for units.

'It was expensive for me personally but definitely worth it from a branding, database and meeting more of the locals' perspective.'"Property consultant *Paul Devine *

The West Australian

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