01 October 2018
Author: REIWA President Hayden Groves
Real estate transactions are complex. For many West Australians, it can be a challenge to determine their individual rights and responsibilities when it comes to dealing with property issues.
REIWA launched a public information service in 1992 to assist buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords navigate their property journeys. This valuable service allows members of the WA public dealing with a REIWA agent to find answers to their real estate queries and concerns.
Last financial year more than 20,000 phone calls were placed to the REIWA Information Service (2,000 more than the previous financial year), with West Australians seeking clarification and assistance from the Institute on a wide range of real estate matters.
As the WA market has slowed these past few years, the REIWA Information Service has seen call volumes increase. Residential property management continues to be the most common topic the public ring about, with 70 per cent of all phone calls for the year to date received from tenants and landlords. The remaining 30 per cent of calls have generally related to residential sales.
When it comes to WA tenants, they most commonly call REIWA to discuss the early termination of their rental lease. They also want to know what rights their landlords have to enter their property while tenanted and what rights they have with regards to repairs and maintenance.
Landlords, on the other hand, most commonly call to seek information on a tenant’s obligation to pay rent, to find out how the court system works in order to claim damages and to clarify their rights around abandoned goods.
In the residential sales market, buyers who call the REIWA Information Service generally do so to get information about their obligation to obtain finance approval within a period of time. They also commonly call to clarify their rights for the pre-settlement inspection. While WA sellers most frequently ring to find out about the settlement process, satisfying contractual conditions and to discuss buyer requests which are not addressed in the contract for sale.
The REIWA Information Service team is comprised of two full time staff members and 70 local REIWA agents who give three hours of their time every few months on a voluntary basis.
When you call up, you are given direct access to these local property experts who can educate you on areas you’re unsure about and help resolve any tricky property matters you might be facing.
If you are dealing with a REIWA agent and have a real estate query you want answered, I’d highly recommend contacting the REIWA Information Service on 9380 8200 for assistance.
06 June 2018
The latest REIWA Curtin Buy-Rent Index for the March 2018 quarter has revealed it’s the best time to buy in Perth since 2013.
The Index, released quarterly, assesses whether it’s better to buy or rent in Perth based on past and current trends in the economic and property market climate.
REIWA President Hayden Groves said the March 2018 quarter index showed the annual rate of house price growth required over 10 years to break even in the Buy-Rent Index had declined from 3.3 per cent to 3.1 per cent over the quarter, suggesting an improvement for prospective homebuyers weighing up the decision.
“To put that into perspective, Perth’s annual house price growth rate has been 5.9 per cent for the last 15 years. Based on the March 2018 quarter Index, house prices in Perth would only need to grow by more than 3.1 per cent annually for buying to be considered more financially beneficial than renting,” Mr Groves said.
“This improvement in buying conditions can be attributed to the Perth median house price softening by 1.9 per cent during the March quarter, while the median house rent price increased $5 to $360 per week. We also saw the 10 year average mortgage rate drop to 6.43 per cent, which means home owners are paying less on their mortgage repayments.
“This is the most affordable buying environment we’ve seen in Perth for some time, so if you’ve been weighing up whether to buy, now is the time to take advantage of favourable market conditions,” Mr Groves said.
Mr J-Han Ho, a Property Researcher and Senior Lecturer in the School of Economics and Finance at Curtin University, said the data indicated a continued improvement for the home buyer in the near future.
“Our analysis shows home buyers gaining an advantage, largely due to the low interest rates for home loans, home ownership costs continuing to be affordable and the median rents stabilising,” Mr Ho said.
View the March 2018 quarter Buy-Rent Index.
21 May 2018
First home buyers are active in Perth’s property market, with data for the March 2018 quarter revealing an increase in sales for properties priced $500,000 and below.
REIWA President Hayden Groves said after observing subdued first home buyer activity during the December 2017 quarter, it was pleasing to see the lower end of the market strengthen early in 2018.
“The final quarter of 2017 saw the composition of the Perth market shift. Last quarter there were significantly more sales in the higher priced end of the market and less in the first home buyer price range. It’s been a different story this quarter, with the balance of sales shifting back to the lower end of the market,” Mr Groves said.
Median house and unit price
Perth’s preliminary median house price is $510,000 for the March 2018 quarter.
Mr Groves said once all sales settle, this figure was expected to increase to $517,000, which would put the March 2018 quarter median marginally lower (by 0.6 per cent) than the December 2017 quarter.
“Although Perth’s median house price experienced a minor adjustment during the March 2018 quarter, the median house price is up 0.4 per cent when compared to the same time last year, which shows prices are stable,” Mr Groves said.
Perth’s preliminary median unit price is $401,000 for the March 2018 quarter.
“This is expected to lift to $410,000 once all sales settle, which would put it equal with the December quarter median.
“These results are in line with REIWA’s 2018 forecast, which expects stable conditions throughout the remainder of this year, with moderate price growth during the next 12 months,” Mr Groves said.
Preliminary Landgate data shows there were 5,865 dwelling sales during the March 2018 quarter.
“We expect around 6,603 sales for the quarter overall, which is marginally lower than volumes recorded during the December quarter,” Mr Groves said.
There was a 5.7 per cent increase in house sales in the sub-$500,000 price range during the March 2018 quarter.
“Increased activity in the lower end of the market is usually a sign first home buyers are active. We are fortunate the dream of home ownership is more attainable for West Australians than it is on the east coast. After seeing activity drop off last quarter, it’s good to see first home buyers are increasing their presence in the market,” Mr Groves said.
Listings for sale
There were 14,413 properties for sale in Perth at the end of the March 2018 quarter.
Mr Groves said listings had increased 10.2 per cent over the quarter, but were down 2.9 per cent when compared to the March 2017 quarter.
“While it is pleasing listings have declined on an annual basis, the increase over the quarter is not cause for alarm. With overall sentiment in WA improving and all signs indicating the market has begun to turn, sellers are feeling more confident than they have been and therefore more inclined to put their property up for sale.
“We’ve also seen a sharp decline in rental listings over the past year which has had a flow-on effect to the established market. With some investors choosing to sell their rental property instead of lease it, this has contributed to the rise in the number of properties for sale in Perth,” Mr Groves said.
Average selling days
It took 67 days on average to sell a house in Perth during the March 2018 quarter.
Mr Groves said although average selling days increased over the quarter, it was still two days quicker to sell than it was during the March 2017 quarter.
“With more listings on the market, buyers now have more choice, which has had an impact on the time it takes to sell. It’s very encouraging though, that on an annual basis, we’re seeing average selling days decrease,” Mr Groves said.
16 April 2018
Hayden Groves via therealestateconversation.com.au
The REIWA has come out in support of the WA state government’s plans to improve housing affordability by increasing housing diversity and density.
The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia supports a State Government plan to improve housing diversity and density to boost housing affordability.
REIWA President Hayden Groves said housing affordability remains one of the more challenging issues affecting West Australians.
“REIWA believes that access to secure and appropriate housing is essential to the success of communities and the prosperity of our state.
“REIWA is committed to ensuring everyone wins in property and will work alongside the WA Government to ensure the Affordable Housing Action Plan makes a positive impact to the lives of West Australians,” Mr Groves said.
Minister for Housing; Veterans Issues; Youth, Peter Tinley outlined the strategic plan this week, which promotes a ‘connected city’ by ensuring the needs of our diverse population are met.
“REIWA would like to congratulate Minister Tinley and the WA Government on this initiative that will promote a connected, sustainable and accessible property market into the future,” Mr Groves said.
￼The McGowan Government aims to deliver affordable homes as part of its METRONET vision and is ￼currently developing its Affordable Housing Action Plan for release in mid-2018.
REIWA will work alongside the Government during the development of the action plan which focuses on:
- Connection between people, place and home;
- Real and enduring affordability for those on low-to-moderate incomes;
- Earlier and more connected housing and support services;
- Creation of diverse precincts that will include options for low-income earners; and,
- Diversity of options to meet diversity of need.
REIWA sits on the METRONET industry board and will work closely to advocate the delivery of affordable housing stock and the creation of METROHUBS.
REIWA will continue to actively support Government in ensuring all Western Australian’s have access to affordable housing through collaboration with the private sector.
17 October 2017
Are you preparing to sell your home in Perth? Home staging and styling has become a big trend, particularly in this challenging market. Potential buyers will judge your home and form their opinions before they even attend a home open through the online advertisement, so it’s important to make a good first impression.
By making some small but effective changes, your property photos can play an important role in enticing buyers to attend your home open.
Here are five budget friendly tips to help style and stage your home for a sale.
1. De-clutter your space
The first thing you will want to do when listing your property for sale is to de-clutter and throw out or donate any items you do not want following you to your next home. It is also recommended to store away any personal items just for the home open to create a neutral space for potential buyers. This can include:
- Personal photos.
- Artwork on the fridge.
- Letters and bills.
- Toiletries and clothes (keep these neatly packed away in the cupboard or draws).
De-cluttering creates more space and shows off the storage potential of your property, whilst also allowing potential buyers to imagine their own life and personal items inside the house.
2. Clean up
Once you have de-cluttered, it’s a good move to clean your house to ensure it’s presented in the best possible way for photos and home opens. Aside from general tidying and vacuuming, this can also include:
- Cleaning up the outdoor area – trim hedges, clear pathways, lay mulch or pebbles to tidy up garden beds and discard unruly weeds.
- Address any lingering odours – perhaps due to a blocked drain or a pet’s toilet training accident.
- Get your cupboards in order – buyers are going to open draws, cabinets and cupboards, so be sure to neaten things up in there and create the illusion of more space.
- Clean soiled items – such as stains in your carpet and curtains (including your shower curtain), and any other household items.
3. Update your paint colour
You may love that red feature wall in the living room, but it might not be quite to your potential buyers’ taste. The most effective way to style your home is to neutralise your space with lick of paint.
Choose neutral paint colours, such as whites, creams and light greys to freshen up your walls and hide any scuff marks or small chips. You can even go as far as re-painting cupboard doors or tiles to update your kitchen and bathroom.
4. Invest in some on trend décor
Update your décor with some on trend pieces, but be sure to not clutter the space. Small, subtle touches are best, not to mention easier on the budget, and can include:
- A statement rug or hall runner.
- Pillows and throws for your couch.
- Decorative ornaments and artwork, such as a vase with flowers or a trendy print.
Don’t be afraid to add pops of colour as well, especially if you have neutral walls and furniture.
5. Create a welcoming environment
For the home open itself, create a great first impression and a welcoming environment with small touches, such as:
- A scented candle or fresh flowers.
- Relaxing music.
- Ambient, comfortable lighting.
Be mindful of the season as well – perhaps pop on a fan or the air conditioner if it’s a warm day, or light a fire (if you have a working fireplace) to create a cosy atmosphere on rainy winter evening.
10 October 2017
The McGowan Government has handed down its 2017-18 State Budget and has listened to the concerns of the WA property industry by not meddling with property taxes.
In the Treasurer’s speech, the Hon. Ben Wyatt MLA advised the State Government did not consider increases to property taxes for WA residents as part of their Budget repair measures, recognising the impact of the three consecutive land tax increases in previous Budgets.
REIWA Deputy President Damian Collins said given the McGowan Government had faced challenges when it came to the State’s fiscal position, it was pleasing to hear there would be no increases to property taxes for WA residents.
The Government is planning to introduce a four per cent foreign owner duty surcharge on purchases of residential property by foreign individuals and entities from 1 January 2019. This is expected to create $49 million in revenue by 2020-21.
“The introduction of a new foreign owner duty surcharge could hinder overseas property investment. Despite foreign investors only representing a small proportion of the WA property market, caution must be placed to ensure this section of the market does not reduce further.
“The Government expects to create revenue from this surcharge, however, it may only worsen the situation in terms of transfer duty revenue, as potential foreign investors may be less incentivised to purchase residential property in WA,” said Mr Collins.
In its pre-budget submission, REIWA recommended the Government introduce five key areas of reform:
- Make no further changes to rates or thresholds for land tax.
- No increase to transfer duty rates or change thresholds.
- Undertake a state tax review to assess the viability of a shift to a broad-based land tax system that ultimately removes transfer duty.
- Maintain the existing transfer duty exemption for first home buyers at $430,000 and re-introduce the $3,000 First Home Owners Grant for existing dwellings.
- Introduce a $10,000 concession on transfer duty for seniors over the age of 65 to encourage ‘right sizing’.
“REIWA welcomes the State Government’s commitment to keep property taxes on hold for WA residents and whilst some of the reforms we recommended were not addressed in the Budget, we appreciate the current fiscal position,” said Mr Collins.
The State Budget also revealed that growth in the State economy is expected to recover from 0.25 per cent in 2016-17, to three per cent in 2017-18. Employment growth is also forecast to recover, with nearly 20,000 jobs expected to be created in 2017-18, attributed to a modest increase in population growth expectations.
“The McGowan Government should be congratulated on their efforts in reducing the State’s debt. REIWA will continue to work with the Government to help home ownership become a reality for more West Aussies and also assist the Government in getting the Budget back to surplus,” said Mr Collins.
03 October 2017
Written by Natalie Hordov via Eastern Reporter REAL ESTATE
THE Perth property market is showing signs of stability with both the median house price and overall median rent holding steady in the three months to August 2017.
According to reiwa.com data, the median house price was $515,000, while the median rent was $350 per week for the fourth month in a row.
President Hayden Groves said it was encouraging to see the median price remain firm across both sectors of the Perth property market.
“The stable medians are good news and indicate that seller’s and landlord’s expectations are matching those of buyers and tenants,” he said.
Listings for sale have continued to trend downwards over the past month, decreasing by 1 per cent and are 10 per cent lower than three months ago.
“The reduction of properties for sale should create a better balance between the supply and demand of Perth’s overall housing stock,” Mr Groves said.
“Traditionally in spring, there tends to be a lift in sales activity which means there is potential for the median house price to increase in the coming months as we see more demand for housing and increased competition from buyers.”
In the residential rental market, reiwa.com data showed stock reduced by 6 per cent to 10,046 properties for rent, with leasing activity up by 8 per cent during the month of August.
“The boost in leasing activity is pleasing to see and has contributed to the declining trend in listings levels as rental stock gets absorbed due to the demand from tenants,” Mr Groves said.
“This improved activity is also helping to keep the overall median rent in check at $350 per week, stable for the fourth consecutive month, which is welcome news for landlords and property managers alike.
“With the warmer weather ahead, we should typically see both buyer and tenant activity levels increase.
“Together with the stabilising trends in median house and rent prices, the Perth property market is showing positive signs as we head into spring and summer.”
08 August 2017
Author: REIWA President Hayden Groves via reiwa.com.au
New reiwa.com data has revealed Perth sellers who choose to auction their property are achieving significantly faster selling times than those who sold using the more traditional private treaty method.
The results for the three months to June 2017 showed it took Perth sellers just 28 days to sell under the hammer, compared to the 70 days on average it took for private treaty sales – a notable difference of 42 days.
While still only a small component of the Perth market, Western Australians have become more familiar with this method of sales in recent times, thanks in large part to the popularity of TV shows like The Block bringing auctions into people’s living rooms.
Auctions and the East Coast
If you’re considering selling, there are many reasons why an auction can be the way to go in the current market. You only have to look to the success of this method on the East Coast to understand how powerful of a selling option it can be.
In Sydney for example, auctions represent approximately 33 per cent of all sales, while in Melbourne that number is close to half of all sales. By comparison, auctions are only around two per cent of all sales in Western Australia (based on March 2017 data).
Benefits of selling at auction
For the seller, one of the biggest benefits of going to auction is the sense of urgency and competition this method generates amongst buyers, predominantly due to the shorter marketing and campaign period of auctions.
When listings are plentiful and buyers have plenty of choice available to them, an auction can help your property stand out. Additionally, selling by auction provides reserve price protection and as the seller you have the opportunity to set specific terms of sale.
If you’re considering going to auction, familiarise yourself with how they work and discuss your options with a REIWA agent to ensure it’s the right selling method for you.
Buying at auction
Alternatively, if you’re a buyer interested in a property that is going to auction, do you research prior to the day so you’re well informed and know what to expect.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of bidding yourself, you can consider hiring a buyer’s agent who can provide advice before and on auction day.
They also help with a number of other tasks including due diligence on the property, researching the property’s value, helping you decide on your purchase price limit and bidding for you on the day.
Here at Porter Matthews Metro we have a well thought out Auction process and success rate, if you have queries as to how this method might suit you, please give us a call on 9475 9622 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
05 January 2017
03 January 2017
First home buyers purchasing newly built properties will now have access to a $15,000 First Home Owners Grant until 31 December 2017.
Announced last week, Premier Colin Barnett said the decision to increase the grant from $10,000 to $15,000 would help first home buyers enter the property market, stimulate construction in WA’s housing market and provide around 2,000 new jobs.
“We are conscious about housing affordability and this boost will provide more families an opportunity to get into the housing market,” Mr Barnett said.
Speaking to ABC Online last week, REIWA President Hayden Groves said he was worried the increase to the grant would be a detriment to the property market and would like to see the same incentive given to first home buyers purchasing existing homes.
“As an Institute we’re a little concerned that the gap between established property and new property for first home buyers is getting larger,” Mr Groves said.
As with the existing grant, the boost payment applies to new homes up to the value of $750,000 (or up to one million dollars if the home is located north of the 26th parallel).
17 November 2016
15 November 2016
It’s hard to believe Christmas is just around the corner. For most of us, it’s the busiest time of the year, when there is often a mad rush to meet deadlines and get things completed before the holiday season begins.
Beat the rush
If you are thinking of selling your home, it’s better to get it on the market well before Christmas, if you can. By the second half of December you can expect the market to go a little quiet until late January when it tends to pick up again.
Use the holiday season to prepare
If you are considering selling, but are in no rush, now is the time to speak to a REIWA real estate agent. They’ll advise you on what you need to do to your property over the holiday period in order to attract the most attention from buyers when things pick up in the New Year.
This might include things like painting, general maintenance or cleaning up the garden and pool. By using the holiday season to get your property primed, you’ll be able to maximise your asking price when you go to market.
Understand your marketing approach
If, due to circumstances, you need to put your house on the market at this time of year, or if you have not yet sold your home, you can expect a temporary slowdown.
Your real estate agent can advise you on the best marketing strategy during this period, which may include a different approach to other times of the year.
Some sellers will choose to delay the marketing of their property until things show signs of picking up, however, if you do decide to promote your home over the holiday season there can be some advantages.
These include the fact that there is less competition and that those looking to buy at this time of year are generally more motivated. They have more time to view properties and are keen to lock in a deal quickly.
Potentially longer settlement times
If you have recently succeeded in selling your home you should allow a little extra time for settlement. Usually five weeks is enough between the contract of sale and the settlement date, but the holiday break may cause delays.
Give yourself time to undertake things like building inspections and termite clearances. I recommend allowing around seven weeks for the settlement period at this time of year.
The festive season is the perfect time of year to relax and spend time with family and friends, so it pays to be organised early so you can enjoy it.
03 November 2016
29 September 2016
Story via @REIWA
14 September 2016
Renovating a house is not for the fainthearted. It can be time consuming, effort intensive and often expensive, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into.
Before kick starting a renovation project, make sure you’ve addressed these questions.
1. What exactly do you plan to renovate?
This question sounds easy enough, but you might be surprised at the ripple effect renovating one room can have on the home.
You want any improvements you make to be seamless and fit in with the design of the original home. Modernising one area, like a kitchen or bathroom, may look out of place if it doesn’t blend well with the rest of the home.
You will also need to determine how involved the renovations will be. Are you planning a small upgrade to one or two rooms, or something more extensive like an extension? You’ll need to establish a rough timeline of how long the project will take and whether or not you can reside in the home for the entire duration. If not, you’ll need to figure out where you will stay during this time.
2. What is your budget for this project?
Establishing a budget from the outset and working to it is key. How much money are you willing (and able) to spend on this renovation? Does this money cover your wish list or do you need to readjust your expectations?
Over exerting yourself financially is risky. Be realistic and work to your budget. You can always stagger the project and get to some of the less crucial items on your list later down the track.
3. Will your renovations add value?
Improving a property’s capital value is often a driving factor behind the decision to renovate. If your plan is to renovate so you can sell your house at a better price, then you need to be strategic about what features and additions you choose.
A REIWA buyer’s agent can help you identify what renovations should be carried out. They will carry out due diligence on your behalf so you don’t overcapitalise and help ensure your renovations fit in well with the neighbourhood, street and original design of the home.
As well as being able to determine the end value and research sought after features in your area, they’ll also contact your local council on your behalf to make sure your renovations adhere to local regulations.
On the flipside, if you plan to live in the home long-term and your primary motivation is to improve your personal living experience then you have more freedom to make changes that suit your unique preferences.
4. Will you engage a professional or is this a DIY project?
Whether or not you engage a professional designer and builder to oversee this project is likely to depend on the size and scale of the renovation.
If it’s a small improvement, you might feel comfortable completing the project yourself, however if it’s a big job it’s probably smarter to use the services of a professional like a buyer’s agent to ensure the best people are on the job.
28 September 2016
19 September 2016
New apartment complexes are popping up all over Perth which has led to more West Aussies opting to purchase an apartment off the plan before or during construction.
What is an ‘off the plan’ purchase?
Off the plan refers to property purchases that take place before the property is completed and/or the Certificate of Title has been issued.
A deposit is paid by the buyer and settlement occurs when the apartment complex is completed, which could be several months or years later.
If you’re considering making an off the plan purchase, it’s very important that you’re aware of the commitment and that you read the contract to know exactly what you’re buying and what your rights and responsibilities are.
How does buying off the plan differ to a regular property purchase?
Buying off the plan is quite a different process to buying an existing house and the contracts are often lengthy, complex legal documents.
If the property is an apartment then you’ll be buying a strata titled lot and the developer has probably drafted a set of strata by-laws, so make sure you read and understand what these by-laws are.
Before making an offer, check to see if it can be subject to finance approval. This may not be possible because a lender can’t make a lending offer that lasts for an extended period, but it can’t hurt to ask.
If you fail to meet settlement, the sellers may have the right to cancel your contract and re-list the property for sale. If the apartment resells for less than what was agreed in your contract, then you may be exposed to the possibility of being sued for any shortfall.
Bear in mind that if the development has not yet commenced construction, there is no guarantee of it starting as the developer will often need to achieve a significant number of pre-sales in order to proceed. Therefore, it’s wise to enquire about any clauses in the contract that permit the seller to withdraw if their sales targets aren’t met.
Benefits of buying off the plan
Off the plan sales can be a great opportunity to buy into an exclusive development in a location you want to live in. Plus, it can provide an extended period of time to plan your transition with ample time to sell an existing home. As a buyer, you may also get the opportunity to choose from a range of finishes for tiling, floor coverings and cabinetry.
When buying off the plan, be sure to ask the real estate agent lots of questions, gain an understanding of the timeline to completion and ensure you read and understand the contract and by-laws.
Couple buying a house with a real estate agent