By Gareth Parker
Perth’s median house price has hit a record $535,000, fuelled by a resurgence of buying close to the city and the continued strength of the first-homebuyer market. The Real Estate Institute of WAs snapshot for the three months to November shows the market has rebounded from a big slump in turnover in the September quarter to surge past the previous record of $525,000, set in the three months to June. REIWA president David Airey attributed the result to a change in the composition of home sales in the three months to November as buyers sought inner•city property. “The quarterly median (price) for the three months to November was up by almost 4 per cent and due mainly to the composition of sales during this period after strong first-homebuyer activity pulled the median house price down to $510,000 in the September quarter,” Mr Airey said. “While first-homebuyer activity is still very evident, there was a solid increase in sales within a 10km radius of the CBD and a softening of activity in outer areas.” REIWKs data shows the surge in inner-city property was not matched by some coastal regions north and south of the city. Parts of Wanneroo, Joondalup and Rockingham showed modest weakening of sales activity. WA Treasury data shows 1969 first homeowner grants were paid out in October, the second highest monthly total since December 2009. The State Government changed the grant scheme on September 25 to $10,000 for newly built homes and $3000 for established homes. The increased housing activity is good news for Treasurer Troy Buswell and the State Government, whose cash strapped Budget will benefit from an injection of stamp duty revenue. Treasury’s Budget update for the September quarter, published on Friday, showed stamp duty revenue had jumped $72 million compared with the same period last year, to $404 million. The jump in prices has been accompanied by strong supply growth, with the number of properties on the market at its highest point for 2013 after being at below- average levels for most of the year. There are 8656 dwellings and 1199 land lots for sale, according to REIW A data. The rental market has continued to favor tenants, with rents falling and supply growing. The median rent fell about 2 per cent in the past three months.