Inner-city buyers making a comeback

By Marissa Lague

It’s been a quiet sector of the inner city residential market for the past couple of years – but last year marked the return of the million dollar buyer and may have set up a strong year ahead for Perth’s premium property market, according to Colliers International.

Over the past 12 months, Colliers International’s premium property division saw a significant rise in the level of buyer inquiry and market activity at the six figure pIus end of the inner-city market, and figures back up evidence of a swing back towards the top. According to the firm’s research and urban economics department, the six months to June 30 saw a marked uptick in the total number and value of transactions for apartments and houses valued at more than $1 million in Perth’s inner-city precincts, including East Perth, Perth, Northbridge, Crawley, West Perth and South Perth.

A total of 78 properties changed hands over the first half of the calendar year, a 22 per cent jump in the number of sales and a 14 per cent lift in total value on the previous six months. Colliers International director of residential Jo-Anne Chin said the figures marked a welcome change in premium property market conditions, which had been dropping since the first half of 2010.

Strong sales were also recorded in the second half of last year, with sales continuing right up to Christmas. Colliers said premium property specialist David Arnold sold 15 $1 million-plus deals in the premium residential division’s six inner-city suburbs.

Looking broadly at the inner-city residential market, the news was good across all price categories. Colliers International research showed that between “the last quarter of 2010 and the last quarter of Last year there had been solid gains in the volume of sales of all inner city residential product, with the top performers the $350,000 to $500,000 price bracket (up 55 per cent) and the $650,000 to $800,000 bracket (up 61 per cent).

The upward trend in sales over the 12•months to the first quarter of last year saw the number of residential sales across all price categories hit its highest point in two years. Ms Chin said the figures and market sentiment painted a bright picture for the inner-city residential market for this year. “That growth in sales activity across all price brackets, Including the top end, clearly shows buyer confidence is on the improve, with solid rental returns on affordably priced units in particular driving movement in the market,” Ms Chin said.

“With confidence up, interest rates down and more quality stock coming on to the market, we would expect to see the inner-city residential sector turn In a strong performance in 2013.”