Property optimism returns

David SalvaireSound Telegraph

After a continued slide in Rockingham’s median house price through 2016, experts say the market has reached the bottom, with green shoots expected to appear later this year.

The latest Real Estate Institute of Western Australia statistics show the median price of a house in the third and fourth quarters last year remained at $400,000.

While that figure is still $19,000 down from the October-December quarter in 2015, REIWA president Hayden Groves said it appeared some confidence was returning to the market.

“Looking at that we can see the sliding of median house prices has started to abate,” he said.

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“We do anticipate that those sorts of markets will start to recover through 2017.

“So probably 2017 will be the year of subdued market, but good opportunities out there for people who are looking to buy.”

The number of houses sold between October and December was 414 — 33 fewer than the 447 that changed hands in the same period 12 months earlier.

The number of houses on the Rockingham market jumped from 966 in the third quarter to 996 in the fourth, but still remained lower than 2015’s December figures of 1007. According to REIWA, tenants in rental properties were up by 30 on last year’s figures to 660, with renters taking advantage of low median prices which fell to $340, down from $370 in December, 2015.

Mr Groves said subdividing and redevelopment, which was buoyed by recent City of Rockingham zoning changes, may have contributed to the fluctuation of Rockingham’s median house price.

“Even though investors are pretty thin on the ground, Rockingham is one of those areas that does look very appealing,” he said.

“Particularly a waterfront property whereby redevelopment of that land can now occur, whereas up until recently you couldn’t do that.

“If you think about the value of an expensive piece of waterfront land that sells for a couple of mill-ion, it’s redeveloped into eight pro-perties which all sell for significant-ly less, then suddenly you have a downgrading of the median price.”

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