The Perth market is – at last – showing solid signs of recovery from five years of dogged downturn. Hotspotting’s Autumn survey of sales activity has found 51 suburbs with rising demand, up from 34 six months ago.
In the five years we have been conducting our quarterly surveys, there has been only one other quarter with more rising markets.
This occurred early in 2019, when Perth appeared on the road to revival before it was snuffed out by the impending Federal Election, the Banking Royal Commission and overwhelming media negativity.
Now the recovery in the WA capital is back on track, with the city’s middle market leading strongly and some of the first-home-buyer markets starting to show vitality. A significant reduction in vacancies and consequent uplift in rents is underpinning the resurgence.
Three precincts stand-out as the market leaders – the municipalities of Stirling, Joondalup and Wanneroo, which jointly have half of Perth’s 51 rising markets. These areas have been among the most resistant to the prolonged downturn and it’s not surprising to see them at the forefront of the upturn.
We have previously commented that the Stirling LGA has been a “sterling performer” amid Perth’s down market. And now it is the leading precinct in the recovery: our Autumn survey had identified nine suburbs with rising sales activity and numerous others with steady demand. The suburb of Dianella (median price $555,000) has lifted quarterly sales from 99 to 101 to 108 to 110 to 121 to 126 over the past 18 months.
In the north of the city, regular leader Joondalup and neighbouring Wanneroo both have eight suburbs with rising momentum. Joondalup is consistently among the most resilient of the Perth markets, boosted by excellent infrastructure and a cluster of good suburbs with attractive pricing. Quarterly sales in Hillarys have been 47-50-50-54-55-58-63.
Wanneroo is one of WA’s leading population growth areas and a provider of new suburbs and housing estates which attract younger buyers. The evolving suburb of Alkimos has recorded quarterly sales of 32-35-38-46 over the past year.
Closer to the inner city, Cockburn continues to stand out as a solid performer. It has six rising suburbs and seven others with consistent buyer demand.
One precinct that is usually prominent but currently less so is the Melville LGA. It currently has just three rising suburbs and there has been a noticeable falloff in some of the more upmarket suburbs in this precinct. Median prices have dropped in million-dollar suburbs like Applecross (down 11%), Bicton (down 16%) and Ardross (down 14%).
We’re starting to see some revival towards the bottom end of the market. Wanneroo is one of the market leaders and the Rockingham LGA in the south, which has not featured in any major way in our reports over the past couple of years, is now showing signs of rising.
Other affordable precincts, however, are yet to spark to life. LGAs like Canning, Gosnells and Armadale have lots of plateau markets – where sales activity is steady but well below the peak levels – and as yet no suburbs with rising sales activity. And prices remain down.
Overall, the Perth is showing strong indications of recovery in terms of sales activity, vacancies and rental growth – but it has yet to translate into widespread uplift in prices.
Only 22% of suburbs have recorded annual growth in median house prices and just 30% of suburbs have had annual increases in median apartment prices.
The areas where the best growth has occurred are largely middle market areas, with the Stirling LGA particularly prominent.
Stirling suburbs with annual median price growth well above average for Perth include Carine (up 6%), Woodlands (7%) and Inglewood units (9%), but the market leader is Wembley Downs (up 16%).
Prices are still dropping in downmarket areas like the LGAs of Canning, Gosnells, Kwinana and Armadale. Examples include the suburbs of Armadale (-11%), Bentley (-11%), Cannington (-11%), Ferndale (-10%), Gosnells (-10%), Kelmscott (-15%), Leda (-10%) and Medina (-15%).