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WA: Property Market update for Perth - Feb 2020

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After a long period of stagnation, the Perth property market has started to show green shoots of recovery. Will the Western Australian capital be able to sustain growth long enough to benefit investors in the long term?

Perth, along with Brisbane, garnered the highest level of interest from investors based on the survey conducted by property investment consultancy Momentum Wealth, which collected responses from over 400 investors across Australia.
Overall, 68 per cent believe that it is still a good time to dive into the housing market right now – a significant increase from last year’s 53 per cent and the year prior’s 44 per cent.
Investor interest remained highest in Perth and Brisbane, with 37 per cent and 26 per cent of respondents respectively choosing the capital cities as the best locations to invest in the next 12 months.
Team leader of Momentum Wealth’s buyer’s agents Emma Everett said that the relative affordability and growth opportunities in both Brisbane and Perth are likely to be the primary drivers of continued interest in their property markets.
“While Brisbane’s property market has been recording steady growth for some time, continued improvements in rental conditions and a significant tightening of stock in Perth’s housing sector are now driving the consensus that the property market is moving into recovery phase, with savvy buyers realising the counter-cyclical opportunities at hand,” Ms Everett highlighted.
“Investors are also recognising the value for money these markets offer, especially in comparison to places like Sydney where prices remain significantly overvalued and affordability constraints are pushing buyers out of the capital city market in favour of regional or state alternatives.”

Further, Perth is considered as the capital city market with the best long-term prospects – 61 per cent of respondents ranked the Western Australia capital as the location with the highest three-year growth potential.
According to Ms Everett, a number of factors are contributing to a strong long-term outlook for Perth’s residential housing sector, including growth in population and the mining sector.
“While we’re already seeing early improvements across Perth’s rental and capital markets, rising activity in the mining sector, increased infrastructure spending and early signs of accelerated population growth are providing strong indicators for the market’s future performance,” she said.
Moving further into 2020, Perth’s median house price of over $500,000 should be able to provide investors and owners with value gains of 5 per cent in 2020, based on Domain’s Property Price Forecasts for February 2020.
In 2021, the Western Australian capital may experience a further 3 to 5 per cent improvement to prices.
Still, Right Property Group’s Victor Kumar reminded investors to be cautious and do due diligence before investing in the Perth property market.
“We have been buying strategically in Perth for a little while, but it is not a market for the uneducated, given prices remain more than 20 per cent below their peak, with different suburbs all at different phases of recovery, with some still falling,” he said.
Property values
CoreLogic’s February 2020 Home Value Index has found a rebound in the pace of capital gains across the Australian housing market throughout the month, seeing the national index rise by 1.1 per cent.
The strongest capital gains were recorded in Sydney, at 1.7 per cent to $872,934 and Melbourne at 1.2 per cent to a median house value of $689,088, followed by Brisbane ($503,265), Canberra ($631,862), Hobart ($488,968) and Adelaide ($439,453).
For Perth, a 0.3 per cent increase in dwelling values reported for the month is being flagged by CoreLogic as “evidence that the long-running downturn is over”. It’s the Western Australian capital’s fourth consecutive month without a value drop, bringing values to a median of $442,691.
However, despite values now trending higher, “the recovery period is likely to be a long one, with Perth housing values remaining 21 per cent below their peak”, according to CoreLogic’s head of research Tim Lawless.

Supply and demand
The week ending 1 March 2020 saw Australian capital city auction volumes reaching their highest levels since late November 2019, according to CoreLogic’s latest auction market preview.
With over 3,000 homes taken to auction, a success rate of 73.9 per cent was achieved.
“The last time the final weighted average clearance rate maintained [such] strength across such a high volume of auctions was back in early 2017,” it revealed.
Breaking down the results by capital cities, Melbourne recorded its busiest week since March 2018, with 1,612 auctions reported. It returned a final clearance rate of 74.8 per cent.

Growth outlook
Money has started to move from the east coast to the west as the western property market witnesses recovery, according to a previous Domain study.
According to the study, Perth is likely to see its fastest growth since the mining boom in 2014, which is welcome news for investors who have bought and held during the boom.
The median house price should be $564,000, which, while higher than the current median value, is still 8 per cent below its previous peak.
To take advantage of the potential for future upswings, Property Club president Kevin Young encouraged investors to buy homes in areas where new schools are in the pipeline.

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