Property market on the rise
Property market on the rise

The Perth property market is turning around for long-suffering home owners, with median home sale prices lifting to their highest level in more than six months.

Ahead of this week's cut in official interest rates, the Real Estate Institute of WA found that the median house price across the city lifted for the second consecutive quarter.

In the first three months of the year the median price rose by $2000 to $467,000.

That followed a similar increase in the December quarter when the median improved to $465,000.

It is not just the detached home market where there are positive signs. The median price of grouped dwellings such as units and apartments grew 2.5 per cent to $400,000.

And while the number of properties on the market in the quarter grew 6 per cent, the total number of dwellings sold jumped 13 per cent.

Institute president David Airey said the fact median prices had posted a consecutive quarterly increase suggested the market was slowly turning around.

"The March quarter results are encouraging and give me reason to believe that the worst is now behind us," he said.

"It's not a boom but it does look like a welcome return towards more normal market conditions."

The gap between asking and selling prices in Perth is narrowing, while there is also movement in the rental market.

The median rent climbed 5 per cent or $20 a week in the March quarter, with the vacancy rate a tight 1.9 per cent.

Mr Airey said first-homebuyers, who now account for almost 20 per cent of buyers, were helping to improve the overall market.

"The big kick is first-homebuyers who are buying net stock and allowing people to trade-up," he said.

"First-homebuyers are not concerned about politics or the state of the economy . . . they are concerned about getting a home."

REIWA's data follows this week's Australian Bureau of Statistics figures that showed prices in WA up 1.1 per cent in the March quarter.

Despite the improvement, prices across the State as measured by the bureau are down 1.7 per cent on a year ago. However, the negative trend has clearly turned. In June last year the annual fall in WA house prices was 6.6 per cent.

Mortgage broker AFG has also picked up an improvement in WA's investment market, reporting a lift in the number of loans taken out for investment properties.

The average mortgage through AFG in WA has now been above the $400,000 mark for the past seven months.

The West Australian

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