Perth's counter cyclical property market is now moving forward: Terry Ryder

Perth's counter cyclical property market is now moving forward: Terry Ryder
Perth's counter cyclical property market is now moving forward: Terry Ryder

A housing affordability report has found WA is the most affordable state in the country for tenants and home-buyers. Only the two Territories - the ACT and Northern Territory - are more affordable.

It’s one piece of a multi-faceted equation which equals recovery in the Perth property market.

While media continues to obsess over Sydney and has extrapolated the wind-down in its market into a national downturn, other scenarios are playing out in different parts of this complex nation.

Perth has been running counter-cyclical to Sydney for the past five or six years and this continues. In 2012, when Perth prices were rising strongly, Sydney was doing very little; as Sydney got on its growth path from 2013 onwards, Perth was heading into reverse; and now, as Sydney runs out of steam, Perth is recovering and moving forward.

Improved affordability after four years of price decline is one of the factors giving Perth momentum.

The Real Estate Institute of Australia and Adelaide Bank, in their latest Housing Affordability Report, have found that affordability in WA’s housing and rental markets has improved markedly.

According to the report, the proportion of income required for tenants to pay their rent had decreased from 19.2% in late 2016 to 17.4% in late 2017.

For those looking to buy their first home, the proportion of income required to meet home loan repayments decreased from 23.8% in 2016 to 22.4% in 2017.

The result reflects the decline in property values and rentals in Perth and other parts of WA in recent years, exacerbated by the end of the resources investment boom, which pushed up residential vacancies.

But the Perth property market generally ended 2017 on a positive note, with December Quarter data from the REIWA showing improvements in median prices, sales activity, listing levels and average selling days.

Supporting that is Domain figures for the December Quarter, which show small quarterly rises in the median prices for both houses and apartments, although the annual figures are still a little negative.

In addition, the latest SQM Research figures show small monthly rises although, again, the annual data is still in the negative.

All this is making Perth “the land of opportunity” and it’s the main reason I’m heading to Perth to do a seminar presentation on 15 March.

REIWA president Hayden Groves says it bodes well for Perth that all key indicators improved over the latest quarter.

“The Perth market found its floor and stabilised in the back half of 2017,” he says. “We now appear to be entering a recovery phase, though REIWA remains cautious about expectations of rapid growth in the next 12 months.”

Perth’s preliminary median house price increased 1.2% to $516,000 in the December Quarter - but once all sales have settled, REIWA expects the final December Quarter median to lift to $520,000, which would be a notable rise on the September Quarter median of $510,000.

Perth’s median unit price is $405,000 for the December Quarter which is a 1.3% increase on the September Quarter.

There were 4,946 dwelling sales in Perth in the December quarter. Groves says this figure is expected to lift to 6,700 once all sales have settled, putting it significantly above the September Quarter sales figure.

“Traditionally, the September Quarter outperforms the December Quarter, but that wasn’t the case in 2017. The December Quarter is on track to record 14% more sales than September,” Groves says.

The primary reason for the revival in the Perth property market is the recent improvement in the state economy.

Further confirmation of WA’s revival comes from Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe, who says the state economy has “turned the corner”.

Lowe says while the national economy is gaining strength, WA is not being left behind, with signs of a lift in mining investment through the State.

“We’re starting to see more self-sustaining investment growth in WA in the mining sector and that’s picking up conditions in Perth,” Lowe says. “It’s not a boom again but there’s more sustainable investment going on and that’s helping the WA economy.”

Outside the mining sector, Lowe cites the lift in public infrastructure projects as one of the reasons the economy is improving.


Terry Ryder is the founder of

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder is the founder of

Perth Housing Affordability

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