Perth’s bustling property market – which has seen reports of homes being snapped up for more than asking price amid long queues outside many home opens – is tipped to continue on into summer.
Realmark Coastal Managing Director Sean Hughes said the high demand for homes was being driven by an uptick in local, interstate and overseas enquiry, as well as an undersupply of properties for sale.
“We expect more sellers will put their homes on the market in the next couple of months to capitalise on this incredibly hot time for Perth property,” he said.
“Fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers needing to base themselves in Western Australia on the back of the coronavirus are just part of the reason homes are being snapped up very quickly, and some of these buyers are inspecting via mobile phone video calls only.”
Ray White South Perth Licensed Agent Lisa Mann said she had also witnessed an uptick in FIFO workers seeking to base themselves in Perth, and she saw this continuing into the summer months.
“We have had a lot of expats come back,” she said. “I am getting lots of calls from people in Sydney and Melbourne who are going to move here as soon as it opens up.
“I had five people from over east who are moving here enquire after a property in Como, and I am showing it to someone whose wife is stuck over east and he works in the mines here, so he wants to get his family here.
Ms Mann said many buyers from Sydney and Melbourne saw Perth properties that locals might claim were too expensive as cheap when compared to what was available in their local market.
“WA is very affordable living,” she said. “That is actually making us a very hot choice at the moment.”
Mr Hughes, whose agency’s focus has expanded up the coast to encompass suburbs from City Beach to Burns Beach, and inland to Floreat, Wembley, North Perth and Leederville, said in the majority of cases sellers were selecting from multiple offers and often these were well above asking price, as there was a shortage of homes to choose from.
“This is also leading to buyers lining up out the door to inspect homes in some suburbs like Scarborough and Doubleview, which are both in the top selling north-of-the-river suburbs right now,” he said.
Mr Hughes said properties were also selling at a much quicker pace.
“We are seeing a majority of our properties come on the market and sell within 10 days, so buyers are having to jump on listings as soon as they come online,” he said.
This is backed up by recent data from REIWA which showed Perth homes were selling 27 days faster in September than 12 months previous
Perth properties last month took a median of 28 days to sell, rather than 55.
With lots of buyers wanting to register on agent databases for off-market opportunities, Mr Hughes said buyers could further improve their chances by arranging finance pre-approval.
“As approvals are taking a long time to be processed by the banks, we suggest allowing a minimum of 28 days for finance on your offer and getting pre-approval if you can,” he said.
“We also recommend using a mortgage broker to ensure the finance approval process is as smooth and quick as possible and that buyers ensure they are getting the best rate and deal.”
Mr Hughes said there was also a shortage of rental homes on offer.
“Many prospective tenants are missing out on properties and are getting quite nervous with hardly any properties available or coming on to the rental market,” he said.
“We are seeing multiple rental applications prior to a home even being available for the first viewing.”
REIWA data for the week ending October 18 revealed 2879 properties were available for rent in Perth, down 53 per cent from the same period last year.
This extended to home sales, with 10,379 properties listed for sale in the week ending October 18, 26 per cent lower than levels seen a year ago.
Ms Mann said buyers would continue to seek homes off the back of recent events.
“We are getting a lot of local movement which is fuelling the market because people are realising their house might be too small, so that upgrade they have always put off, that has all changed and people are now starting to look for things like home offices,” she said.