Unit demand spikes in tight market

This as buyers rush for competitive spots

Unit demand spikes in tight market


By Mina Martin

Fresh figures from reiwa.com.au revealed that units are selling almost as quickly as houses, with houses selling in a median of eight days and units in nine days in February.

Units catching up fast

REIWA CEO Cath Hart (pictured above) noted that while houses have consistently sold quickly, the recent acceleration in unit sales is noteworthy.

“Units are selling 13 days faster than they did a year ago,” Hart said, highlighting a growing interest in this type of property.

The appeal of units, traditionally less favoured compared to houses, has increased due to the intense competition for houses and their relative affordability.

“House prices have risen strongly in recent years, while units have remained relatively stable,” Hart said. “This makes units a more affordable option for people seeking homeownership, particularly first-home buyers or tenants looking to escape the rental roundabout.”

Hotspots for quick sales

The REIWA data revealed the fastest selling suburbs for houses in February. Parmelia, Camillo, and Craigie all recorded median sale times of four days. Coolbellup, Forrestfield, Golden Bay, Heathridge, and Meadow Springs recorded sales in just five days.

For units, Atwell led the way with a median sale time of four days. Spearwood, Tuart Hill and Wembley followed with five days, and Midland, Balga, Bentley, Dianella, Joondalup and Nollamara with six days.

Prices on the rise

The demand for units is starting to push prices upward, with the median unit sale price increasing by 1.2% in January and showing a 3.8% year-on-year growth.

The suburbs experiencing the most growth in unit sale prices include (up 4.8% to $380,000), Mandurah (up 3.7% to $340,000), Claremont (up 2.8% to $730,000), Tuart Hill (up 2.6% to $395,000), and Belmont (up 2.4% to $386,000). 

Meanwhile, the median house sale price also rose to $605,000, marking a 10% increase from February 2023.

Listings dynamics

Active listings saw a slight increase in February, reaching 3,991, which is 5.1% higher than January but still 43.6% lower than the previous year.

Hart pointed out that while new listings for houses and units are coming to market at a good pace, the demand continues to outstrip supply, keeping active listings low.

“A review of our data shows new listings for houses in the past 12 months were just 2.2% below the five-year average and unit listings were 12.8% higher,” he said. “However, house sales by REIWA members have been 8.5% higher than the five-year average, while unit sales have been 30.6% higher. This is why active listings remain so low.

“At the moment new listings coming to market are slightly outpacing the number of sales, which is why we’re seeing active listings rise.”

Perth’s rental market tightens

Rent prices continued to climb in February, with the median dwelling rent reaching $630 per week, up 18.9% from the previous year.

The rental market remains challenging, with a decrease in available properties for rent, underscoring the ongoing supply issues in the sector.

Over the month, the median weekly rent for houses rose by 1.2% to $650, marking an 18.2% increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, the median weekly rent for units remained at $580, yet it was 18.4% higher than the same period last year.

In February, homes were leased in a median of 15 days, which is one day quicker than in January but one day slower than the same month last year, REIWA reported.

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