Archive for Frequently Asked Question

Perth Market Snapshot for the week ending 10 March

  1. 2019

Housing affordability declined in WA in the December 2018 quarter, according to the latest findings from the Real Estate Institute of Australia and Adelaide Bank Housing Affordability Report.

Residential sales market

The December 2018 quarter Housing Affordability Report found West Australians were using up a greater proportion of their income to meet loan repayments, with the figure increasing from 22.5 per cent in the September 2018 quarter to 23.1 per cent in the December 2018 quarter.

On an annual basis housing affordability in WA has improved, having decreased 0.8 per cent when compared to the December 2017 quarter.

There were 7.6 per cent more loans taken out in the December 2018 quarter than in the September 2018 quarter, according to the report, with a total of 11,017 loans (excluding refinancing) recorded for the quarter. Although this figure is an improvement on the September 2018 quarter, it is down 6.2 per cent compared to the December 2018 quarter.

The average loan size increased in WA during the December 2018 quarter, up 1.2 per cent to $340,515 compared to the December 2018 quarter. On an annual basis, the average loan size has declined by 3.5 per cent.

First home buyers

First home buyer activity increased 6.7 per cent in WA during the December quarter, with 3,833 new property owners recorded, however this figure is down 4.1 per cent compared to the December 2017 quarter.

First home buyers make up 34.8 per cent of the state’s owner-occupier market (the largest percentage in the country!) and represent 13.2 per cent of all first home buyers in Australia.

The average loan to first home buyers increased by 0.9 per cent to $306,850 during the quarter, and decreased 2.9 per cent compared to the December 2017 quarter.

Rental market

Rental affordability has declined in Western Australia, with the proportion of income required to meet the median rent now sitting at 16.6 per cent, an increase of 0.5 per cent during the quarter and 0.2 per cent over the year.

WA’s top searched suburbs for sale revealed

reiwa.com’s latest search result data has revealed the 10 suburbs most popular with WA property seekers looking to buy in the last 12 months.
REIWA President Damian Collins said nine of the 10 suburbs on the list were in the Perth region, with Denmark the only regional suburb to make the list.

“Hillarys was the most popular suburb for West Australians searching for property, taking out first spot on the list, followed by Denmark, Woodvale, Duncraig and Canning Vale.

“Overall, it’s quite an eclectic list of suburbs, with a good supply from both north and south of the river and quite varied in terms of population levels. While it’s no surprise a suburb like Canning Vale has trended highly, given it’s one of WA’s biggest suburbs, it’s interesting to note that six of the 10 suburbs have fewer than 10,000 people residing in the area.

“Denmark in the Great Southern region has proven very popular with prospective buyers for example, ranking second on the list, which is quite remarkable given it has a population of just 2,600. Denmark has a lot of lifestyle appeal, especially with those seeking a sea-tree change. It seems many West Australians are turning to the internet to learn more about Denmark and find out what kind of properties are available in the area,” Mr Collins said.

The biggest trend in terms of lifestyle appears to be the push towards coastal suburbs, with six of the 10 top searched suburbs well-known for their proximity to WA’s great beaches.

“In particular, the northern coastal suburbs were popular, with Hillarys, Iluka, Sorrento and Mindarie all rating highly with WA property seekers,” Mr Collins said.

Of the 10 suburbs to make the list, reiwa.com data shows eight have median house prices above the Perth median of $510,000.

“This suggests it’s the trade-up sector of the WA market who are most actively searching for property right now,” Mr Collins said.

“While sales activity across Perth remains subdued, the high levels of interest from prospective buyers in these suburbs should provide local sellers with some confidence.

“These areas are clearly striking a chord with WA property seekers, so there is excellent opportunity for sellers to take advantage of this interest. My advice is to listen to your real estate agent and price your property in-line with market expectations to ensure your home stands out.”

Perth Market Snapshot for the week ending 3 February

Sales activity decreased nine per cent in Perth this week, with REIWA members reporting 484 transactions.
This decrease can be attributed to a 16 per cent decline in house sales and a one per cent decline in unit sales, however there was a 57 per cent increase in vacant land sales during the week.

The lower level of activity experienced this week can most likely be attributed to the Australia Day long weekend.

Listings for sale

There were 16,633 at the end of this week, which is one per cent less than last week.

A closer look at listing stock levels shows house listings remained stable, listings for units decreased by two per cent and listings for vacant land decreased by four per cent.

This week’s total figure is four per cent higher than four weeks ago and eight per cent higher than levels seen a year ago.

Perth rental market

REIWA members reported there were 6, at the end of this week, which is two per cent less than last week.

This week’s rental listings figure is eight per cent lower than four weeks ago and are 27 per cent lower than the same time last year.

 

REIA calls for Federal Labor to be transparent about property taxes

he Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has called on the Federal Labor party to announce what they plan to do about existing negative gearing and capital gains taxation arrangements if elected.

The call comes following a recent announcement by the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, that there would be no decisions until after the Federal Election.

REIA President Adrian Kelly said all Australians deserved to know what the Federal Labor Government planned to do if elected and questioned whether they were keeping quiet in an attempt to mitigate voter backlash in the lead up to the election.

“It is not acceptable to appear to be ‘having a couple of bob each way’ in the lead up to the election. There is already enough market uncertainty particularly in the larger states and a “nothing to see here” approach will only exacerbate this uncertainty.

“The ALP needs to come clean with what its election policies actually are so that all Australians – including the nearly 100,000 real estate businesses across Australia together with their employees and families – know exactly what they will be voting for and can make an informed decision at the ballot box,” Mr Kelly said.

Based upon previously announced taxation policies from the Federal Labor party, REIA have highlighted which Australians will be most affected by these changes.

According to REIA, the big ‘losers’ would be:

  • Mum and dad’ investors who want to buy an existing investment property to supplement their retirement savings will no longer be able to claim a modest taxation deduction.
  • Home owners who will see additional downward pressure on home prices in an already falling national market.
  • Tenants who will see their rents rise just as they did under the Hawke/Keating experiment in the 1980s.
  • Builders and their ‘tradies’who will build less houses as shown by independent research undertaken for the Master Builders Association last year.
  • State Governments and their constituents who will receive less transfer duty revenue to spend on much needed infrastructure.

“REIA welcomes the promise to consult but let’s do that now, not after the election, and let’s look at all property taxes in a holistic approach and not just negative gearing and capital gains tax as if that’s the panacea to housing affordability,” Mr Kelly said.

Find out more about negative gearing and why it’s positive for West Australians.

Why the first property you buy is the most important of all

Buying property will undeniably be the largest and potentially, the most profitable investment you make.

Your first home is what gets you on the property ladder and can either set you up for the future or hold you back from your long term dream property.

For some, your first home will not be the one you raise your family in, but it is another step in the right direction and if you make the right decisions with your first house, you will be able to secure your ideal family home in an area you love.

Generally speaking, it is natural to have emotions running high when you make that first purchase, as the house hunting and finance process can be exhausting. Try to avoid this by taking your time to research, seek professional advice and make a decision based on your budget and lifestyle goals.

Months, even years of savings could all be sacrificed for a property you buy that loses you money. Alternatively, a clever first purchase that grows in value could leave you never having to save money again for a deposit on your next home.

REIWA President Damian Collins said the first home you buy is the most important because its capital growth is how you create equity to be able to afford to trade up to the next home.

“Most people buy at the lower end of the property market for their first home and through their lives, many move into higher price brackets as their family and income grow,” Mr Collins said.

The first step to achieving your house goals is saving a deposit for your first property purchase. How much you save can ultimately affect what, where and when you buy, as well as how much you are able to borrow from the bank. All of these factors will point to you being ready or not to buy a property that will give you the best first start in the property market.

Think long term, not just about the appeal of the property today. The best way to set yourself up is through your first home purchase, this again comes back to ensuring your first property is a smart investment decision.

“Quite often existing homes that are a little older in established suburbs grow in value more than brand new homes in the outer suburbs. It’s nice to have everything brand new, but remember, the first property is the stepping stone to your dream home,” Mr Collins said.

It is important to consider your long term goals, as many people strive to raise their families in nice communities close to schools, parks and recreational facilities. Get yourself used to the locations you like living in and where you can see yourself raise your children or if you plan to in the future.

Perth median house price increases for second month in a row

Perth’s median house price increased 1.6 per cent to $518,000 during November, according to reiwa.com data.
REIWA President Damian Collins said this was the second month in a row Perth’s median house price had shown improvement.

“Perth’s median house price has been fairly flat throughout 2018, so it’s pleasing to see two consecutive months of median price growth as we head into the New Year.

“reiwa.com analysis shows there was a shift in the composition of sales in November, with a greater proportion of transactions occurring above $1 million than there were in October. This has contributed to the increase we’ve seen in Perth’s median house price this month,” Mr Collins said.

The top selling suburbs in November were Willetton, Baldivis, Canning Vale, Duncraig and Ellenbrook, while reiwa.com data shows Quinns Rock, Willetton, Doubleview, Leeming and Wellard had the biggest improvement in sales volumes (percentage wise).

“While overall sales activity in the Perth Metro region remains subdued, numerous suburbs bucked this trend during November to record notable improvements in sales,” Mr.

Listings for sale were five per cent higher at the end of November than they were at the end of October.

“It’s not unusual to observe increases in listing stock at this time of year. Sellers are returning to the market following the lull of the winter period and wanting to get in quick before the holiday season ramps up. With listing stock rising, buyers have a good supply of choice available to them, making it a very good time to buy,” Mr Collins said.

Perth rental market

Perth’s overall median rent price continues to hold at $350 per week, however reiwa.com data shows there was a small $5 increase to the median unit rent price in November.

“While the overall median and median house rent ($360 per week) were stable, pleasingly the median unit rent did increase to $330 per week during November. Additionally, when we compare the November 2018 median unit rent to three months ago (August 2018), reiwa.com data shows the unit rent has increased by $10 per week,” Mr Collins said.

The five suburbs which experienced the biggest increase in leasing activity (percentage wise) during November were Kardinya, Coolbellup, Bedford, Kelmscott and Harrisdale, while Perth, East Perth, Scarborough, South Perth and Baldivis had the most number of leased properties.

Listings for rent were stable in November, remaining below 7,000 – a significant 25 per cent decline compared to the same time last year.

“The rapid decline in listings we’ve observed this year is a key driver behind the rental market’s recovery. It has also had a significant impact on the vacancy rate, which continues to decline and now sits at 3.3 per cent,” Mr Collins said.

What economists predict for Australian house prices in 2019

In the middle of last year, several top economists were predicting house prices to in fact increase in 2018 – one forecasting as much as nine per cent, but since then house prices have experienced their largest and longest peak to trough decline in recent history spurred on by increased housing affordability constraints, a banking royal commission with a microscope on lending standards, and APRA’s restrictions on new investor loans.

Now that the price falls are well and truly in motion, all five economists recently surveyed by The Australian Financial Review forecast national house values would continue to drop in 2019, with Sydney, the epicentre of the downturn, dragging down the national average.

Stephen Koukoulas, of Market Economics, was most downbeat about the state of the property market, with expectations prices would fall in Sydney between 7.5 per cent and 10 per cent in 2019 after a drop of 7.5 per cent in 2018.

Nationally, he predicted house prices would fall by between five per cent and 7.5 per cent.

“From the 3rd quarter in 2019, I am forecasting some stability in prices as supply and demand forces underpin new activity,” Mr Koukoulas said.

By then he expected cashed-up first-home buyers would be lining up to take advantage of increased levels of affordability.

A key consideration for Geordan Murray, HIA acting principal economist, is that while population growth is slowing, it remains strong and will ensure ongoing demand for housing throughout the cycle.

“The labour market has been improving and is projected to continue to do so. This should contribute to further modest improvements in wage growth,” Mr Murray said.

“There are risks around borrowing costs.”

A key issue mentioned by the economists was that at some point in 2019 is whether the RBA may be forced to consider another interest rate cut if the slump in home prices starts to impact consumer spending and the outlook for inflation.

While each economist offered a variation on how much prices would fall in 2019, each attributed the tightening of credit, rising mortgage rates, and a surge in new supply to the further softening of the market.

To see each economist’s predictions, read the full article on the Australian Financial Review. Please note you will need to be an AFR subscriber to read the full article.

New Foreigner Owner Duty Surcharge a disappointing blow for WA property market.

REIWA is disappointed the members of WA Parliament have ignored the concerns of the property industry by voting to pass the Foreign Owner Duty Surcharge tax.
REIWA President Damian Collins said the new tax would likely have significant consequences for the WA property market, which was just starting to show signs of a recovery.

“The WA property market has endured a challenging few years. We are just starting to see the green shoots of a recovery on the horizon. A new tax will only serve to further dampen our already weak market and deter much needed foreign investment from the state.

“WA has the lowest level of foreign investment of any state, second only to the Northern Territory. This ill-timed tax will place an additional barrier for people wanting to move to WA and set up a home.

“Although foreign buyers only make up a small proportion of the WA market, it’s a proportion we can’t afford to lose. Especially at a time when the market is showing signs of stabilising,” Mr Collins said.

Foreign buyers of residential properties in Western Australia will pay a seven per cent surcharge from 1 January 2019.

This month the RBA announced that it would leave the official cash rate at 1.5%*

How Much Can I Borrow?

Before you can set a realistic budget for buying your dream home, you’ll first need to find out how much you can borrow.

Your borrowing power depends on your income, assets and current living expenses, as well as the size of your deposit and credit history.

Here are three things to consider in order to potentially improve your borrowing power.

1. How much can you save for a home loan?

Living expenses have a way of eating into your cash flow, so keep a record of what you’re spending. You might be surprised to see where your money is going – and how much you can save.

Cutting back on large and unnecessary expenses might help boost your borrowing capacity, but you don’t have to be too strict with your budget – make sure there is a little wiggle room for things like holidays or brunches with friends.

2. How much deposit do you need for a home loan?

As a general rule, the more money you can put down upfront the better. Sometimes this isn’t an option, therefore a Low Deposit Loan might suit you – often referred to as a No deposit home loan- although this shouldn’t be your first preference.

Not only does a bigger deposit mean you won’t have to borrow as much, it may also help you avoid paying LMI ( Lenders Mortgage Insurance) protects the lender if you default on your repayments.

You are typically required to pay LMI if you need to borrow over 80% of the purchase price, but even a 20% deposit may not cover stamp duty and other fees and charges associated with buying a property.

If you need to add these costs onto your home loan, you may end up over the 80% threshold and liable for LMI, so aim to save at least 25% of the purchase price to create a bit of a buffer.

3. How is your credit rating?

Potential home loans lenders will access your credit history to see if you can afford the loan you are applying for, and whether or not you are likely to repay it.

Having a bad credit history may reduce your borrowing power and can potentially increase your interest rate, so make sure you review your credit history every 12 months to correct any mistakes.

It’s also a good idea to try to avoid extending the limit on a credit card or taking out a loan for a new car in the months before applying for a home loan, as the number of times lenders request your report can impact your credit score.

Understanding your financial position is the first step to boosting your borrowing power. Budgeting carefully, setting a savings goal and building a strong credit history can all help take the stress out of applying for a home loan.

 

 

 

Perth rental market improves in August

The Perth rental market continues to show promising signs of improvement, with the vacancy rate falling to 4.5 per cent in August – the lowest it’s been since April 2015.
REIWA President Hayden Groves said the Perth rental market had shown encouraging signs across all key indicators.

“What we are seeing is a steady yet healthy improvement in tenant activity,” Mr Groves said.

“Steady rents, easing supply as listings for rent continue to fall and stronger demand with more leasing activity all point to the rental market leading Perth’s property market recovery.”

Leasing activity was up 17 per cent in August, with 4,805 dwellings leased during the month.

Mr Groves said reiwa.com data had revealed the suburbs of Leederville, Glendalough and Secret Harbour experienced the most significant growth in leasing activity during August.

“Leederville had more than double the amount of properties leased from July to August, with the volumes increasing by an impressive 183 per cent,” Mr Groves said.

“Typically, as we move into these warmer spring months, the property market should see an overall uplift in activity, and historically the sales market follows the rental market during a recovery.”

Perth’s median rent continues to hold for the 17th month straight at $350 per week, with no changes recorded since April 2017.

Mr Groves said it was pleasing to see stability return to the rental market, giving both tenants and property investors’ greater certainty and confidence in the leasing sector.

Back stronger than before: The 12 Perth suburbs now recording strong price growth after experiencing declines last year

North Fremantle, Bicton and Nedlands are among the 12 Perth suburbs to have experienced house price growth this year after suffering declines last year.

REIWA President Hayden Groves said 12 suburbs across the metro area had defied the declining trends experienced in the 12 months to June 2017, to record strong house price growth in the 12 months to June 2018.

“It’s really pleasing house prices in these suburbs have recovered so well in just 12 months. All of the suburbs on the list have higher median house price values now than they did in 2016 just prior to the decline, which is positive news for sellers in these areas.

“North Fremantle had the strongest rebound in price, with its median increasing 28.1 per cent to $1.23 million in 2018, after declining 0.8 per cent to $960,000 in 2017.

“Bicton came in second, with a 17.6 per cent median house price increase this year after declining 6.5 per cent last year, while Nedlands, Kallaroo and West Leederville saw house prices lift by 15.5 per cent, 14.6 per cent and 13.4 per cent respectively in the 12 months to June 2018,” Mr Groves said.

Helena Valley, City Beach, Claremont, Mosman Park, Winthrop, White Gum Valley and Leeming rounded out the 12.

reiwa.com analysis shows all suburbs on the list had a median house price above the Perth Metro median of $515,000 and seven of those suburbs had median house prices above $1 million.

“Perth’s aspirational suburbs are really leading the way in the property market’s recovery. Last quarter there were more houses sales recorded in the $800,000 and above price range, which is a trend that also occurred during the December 2017 quarter. In addition, recent reiwa.com data also shows 11 per cent of houses sales in Perth now sell above $1 million, which is the highest proportion of million dollar sales Perth has seen,” Mr Groves said.

“Another interesting observation is that nine of the 12 suburbs had faster average selling days than the Perth Metro region average of 66 days, with Nedlands (28 days), Claremont (40 days) and West Leederville (47 days) the standouts.

“There is genuine competition amongst buyers in the luxury end of the Perth market, forcing buyers to act fast in these areas and pay a premium to secure the property. Home owners in these suburbs who are thinking of selling would be wise to take advantage of these favourable market conditions.”

     Suburb Median price (June 2017) Annual change vs June 2016 Median price (June 2018) Annual change vs June 2017
1. North Fremantle $960,000 ↓ 0.8% $1.23 million ↑ 28.1%
2. Bicton $892,500 ↓ 6.5% $1.05 million ↑ 17.6%
3. Nedlands $1.45 million ↓ 3.7% $1.675 million ↑ 15.5%
4. Kallaroo $700,000 ↓ 9.4% $802,500 ↑ 14.6%
5. West Leederville $1.1 million ↓ 1.6% $1.247 million ↑ 13.4%
6. Helena Valley $530,000 ↓ 9.6% $600,000 ↑ 13.2%
7. City Beach $1.627 million ↓ 4.9% $1.835 million ↑ 12.8%
8. Claremont $1.3 million ↓ 3.7% $1.455 million ↑ 11.9%
9. Mosman Park $1.285 million ↓ 1.2% $1.38 million ↑ 7.4%
10. Winthrop $840,000 ↓ 1.2% $899,000 ↑ 7.0%
11. White Gum Valley $682,500 ↓ 3.2% $730,000 ↑ 7.0%
12. Leeming $660,000 ↓ 5.7% $705,000 ↑ 6.8%
Perth Metro  $520,000  ↓ 2.8%  $515,000  ↓ 1.0% 

Median house price data is for the 12 months to June 2018 versus the 12 months to June 2017.
Filtered for suburbs with more than 28 sales.