Tables turn as home listings take tumble

Investment
Perth’s housing market is at its tightest in almost seven years, with stock plummeting almost 42 per cent over the past 12 months to only 8260 homes for sale in the March quarter.

Listings have continued to drop from a high of 18,200 in April 2011. The Real Estate Institute of WA said listings had not topped the 12,000 mark in nine months.

After almost 5 1/2 years of a buyer’s market, the tables had finally turned back in favour of sellers, according to REIWA executive manager of research and policy Stewart Darby.

“The current level of listings is still some 73 per cent above the low point (4800) in June 2006,” he said.

“The current rundown in listings since April 2011 has commenced from a far higher level than the 2006 low and has occurred during an unprecedented period of non-stimulatory first-homebuyer activity which is probably nearing a peak.”

REIWA president David Airey said the low stock was the result of buyers returning to the market after holding back while they waited for clear signs the market had bottomed and had improved enough to sustain growth.

“Those signs are now apparent and in combination with low interest rates there has been a rush to buy, particularly with first-homebuyers,” Mr Airey said.

“It seems sellers have been a bit more cautious, perhaps hopeful of values picking up more strongly in the near future.

“The result is that the gap between eager buyers and reluctant sellers has seen listings fall.

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