Perth May 2018

The month in review: Perth

By Herron Todd White
May 2018

The prestige property sector is currently outperforming the remainder of Perth’s property market. After years of soft market conditions due to a total lack of market confidence, a rebound has finally begun in the desirable western suburbs of Perth, the CBD fringe area and desirable coastal localities. The substantial price contraction over the past 3 years has brought many properties to represent apparent “good buying”, resulting in today’s increasing market activity.

In the second half of 2017, upgraders started to gain the required level of confidence to secure homes in areas they never thought they could afford. The period of opportunity and/or “fear of missing out” has been identified by a large group of upgraders within a relatively short period of time, causing a substantial uplift in demand which has eventually affected property prices. Many sought after areas are recovering while several suburbs have exceeded house value medians witnessed back in 2013 and 2014 when Perth enjoyed stronger conditions.

North Beach and Applecross are two of the top performing suburbs in today’s market with a 25.00% uplift in median value for both suburbs over the last year, according to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia’s studies. The current median prices reflect a 15.8% improvement in values in North Beach and 9.8% in Applecross, since 2014. Supply of quality housing in prestige areas is well below current demand levels, which is also contributing to the improved prices. Sales volumes are therefore relatively low somewhat restricting the market in several prestige areas. Prices appear to still be on the rise, enquiries are increasing and the overall prestige market is expected to continue in this direction throughout 2018.

As the rare opportunity to get a foot in the prestige market has already sailed for many, well established, upgrader suburbs have become the second best option. Rossmoyne along Swan River and Coolbinia near Perth CBD have already started to shoot up with a 14.8% and 29.7% increase in values respectively over the last 12 months.

Land values in excess of one million dollars can generally be described as prestige. Due to the limited stock of prestige housing in upper-end suburbs, there is currently a high demand for properties representing near land value with good views and close proximity to the beach. Demolition of existing, modest housing makes room for new prestige housing that is more suitable for the areas. This is becoming prevalent, resulting in solid value increases at entry level stock in many sought after localities.

Properties falling in the value brand of two to three million dollars fall within the lower end of the “prestige” range. As always, values are heavily influenced by size, age, quality and condition of the home as well as locational aspects including views, proximity to private schools, beach, city and river.

Mount Pleasant, South Perth, Nedlands, Dalkeith, Cottesloe, Claremont, City Beach Attadale, Subiaco, Trigg, North Beach and Sorrento are all examples of such premium suburbs. It should be noted that there is also modest housing of lesser values in some of these areas.

Properties holding a value of $4 million or above, located in prime affluent suburbs can be categorised as ultra-prestige – arguably required to be located on the river or ocean side. Peppermint Grove, Mosman Park and Applecross fit right into this category.

Apartments worth $1 million and above are typically seen as prestige. The state’s overall apartment market including the prestige sector is currently somewhat stagnant, although there has been good demand for good quality apartment projects in many prestige areas that have long lacked options for downsizing baby boomers.

High income earning professionals who desire large family homes close to private schools and Perth CBD are typical buyers in the prestige areas. Doctors and other health professionals take up a great portion of the prestige areas, especially southern suburbs such as Applecross and Mount Pleasant due to the proximity to the cities growing health district in Murdoch.

Agents have reported increased activity and interest in these areas. Applecross is currently the top-selling suburb in the state as of REIWA’s most recent update. Some of Perth’s most impressive mansions are located along the riverside in Applecross. The median house price is $1,570,000 although; a large portion of the suburb comprises modest dwellings reducing the overall median price substantially. The mansion pictured below, located along Duncraig Road in Applecross, was sold in March 2018 for $8 million and would be classified as ultra-prestige. The property was initially listed for $8.5 million in November 2017.

Peppermint Grove is sitting at the very top of the prestige range, holding a median house price of $3,475,000, well above any other prestige suburbs. The mansions are typically located on quarter acre blocks surrounded by greenery. Below is a fairly recent sale occurring in December 2017. The property sold for $11 million after being on the market for 53 days. The seller received the asking price for the property, something we don’t see very often in today’s market.

Dalkeith is also among the top affluent suburbs in Perth with a median house price of $2.57 million. The suburb comprises residential buildings that are often seen as impressive, with somewhat different architecture. Dalkeith’s riverside along the wellknown Victoria Avenue is one of Perth’s most expensive locations. The street is known for taking luxury to a whole new level. Below is a property situated along Victoria Avenue that sold in January 2018 for $5.35 million after being on the market for 145 days. Cottesloe is one of the top performing suburbs in Perth’s current market with a 16.9% rise in house median over the last 12 months, landing at $2,127,000. The proposed redevelopment plan of Cottesloe foreshore involving a complete makeover including multi-storey living, restaurants and an ocean side swimming pool is likely to play a part in the increasing demand currently seen. This has been identified by investors and also upgraders hoping for improvement. The property below sold for $4,600,000 in March 2018 after only 5 days of proper marketing.

In the short to medium term, the prestige sector is expected to see a slight increase in price as a result of supply restrictions caused by increasing confidence levels among buyers. Secondary suburbs are also expected to see improved market conditions, an opportunity increasingly identified by investors. Our valuers have confidentially suggested growth or at the very minimum stable market conditions over the coming year, however, the long-term is uncertain as the overall state economy plays an important role in the performance of the property market.

All we can say is that the economic key measures are tracking in the right direction.

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