The flood of first-homebuyers that has driven Perth's property market is showing signs of giving way to investors and people trading up to bigger homes.
Properties in sought-after suburbs and those with development potential are being snapped up for sometimes tens of thousands of dollars above their asking prices, with some home opens anecdotally attracting more than 40 would-be buyers.
Agents said homes in the $600,000-$700,000 bracket in some suburbs were now receiving as much interest as those in the $400,000-$500,000 range favoured by first-homebuyers because of the stamp duty benefits. They said first-homebuyers were on the wane in favour of "trade-up buyers", who were selling one home to buy a bigger one, and - to a lesser extent - investors.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported this week that house prices in Perth rose 8.7 per cent last year, but the Real Estate Institute of WA has predicted more moderate growth of 3 to 5 per cent this year.
Momentum Wealth managing director Damian Collins said the first-homebuyer market was still active but not to the extent it had been. "We've seen a big number of trade-up buyers come into the market," he said.
Attree Real Estate property consultant Paul Devine said competition was driving up prices.
"The conditions are there to suit sellers at the moment based on a lack of homes for sale, lack of new homes being built, interest rates and market sentiment is still strong," he said.
Cheryl and Chris Kirwin bought a $645,000 investment property in Hillarys last month after putting in offers on five other properties. Mrs Kirwin said they paid more than they planned to get what they wanted.
Lynda and Richard Campo recently upgraded from their Maddington property, buying a home in Huntingdale advertised for offers above $519,000.
About 20 people turned up to the home open and the couple beat out a handful of other offers to buy it for $545,000. "We thought we could upgrade suburbs as well as houses," Mrs Campo said.