In its recently released Price Expectation Report, RateMyAgent have named Wanneroo as Western Australia’s happiest area, with the highest rate of above-expectation property sales in the state.
Previously in second place behind Melville, Wanneroo managed to snag the top spot with 35 per cent of vendors receiving a better sale price than expected. Shortly behind was Stirling at 33 per cent, then Swan, Melville and Mandurah at 28, 21 and 10 per cent respectively.
It is a radically different world than the one when the report was last conducted back in February, but RateMyAgent CEO Mark Armstrong said the WA market had managed to remain resilient despite the state of the economy.
“In terms of vendor happiness, it actually hasn’t had an impact in WA really at all,” he said. “From what we’ve seen over the last two years, price happiness in WA hasn’t been on a sharp increase, but has certainly been on what I call a steady increase. When we last spoke, WA was a fair way behind the rest of the country.
“It’s getting closer and closer, which is an amazingly positive sign – it had to happen in WA.”
Massive demand and historic low levels of supply are creating some of the best selling conditions for vendors in about six years, according to Mr Armstrong.
“As expected, what we’ve seen in the June quarter is an astounding turnaround in market confidence. After the initial shock in April wore off, consumer optimism is on the way back up,” he said.
Mr Armstrong said April – the epicentre of COVID-19 – was when supply fell off a cliff, and no doubt the lack of supply was keeping the market strong.
“Broadly, across the country there’s about 20 per cent less property on the market compared to the same time last year,” he said.
Ray White Whiteman & Associates Principal David Whiteman said the results checked out and named Wanneroo an up-and-coming suburb.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if sellers in that area are really satisfied with the prices coming through, because there has been a significant shift in the balance of the market,” he said. “Certainly, the conversation we’re having with buyers as they walk through is, ‘there’s a lot of sold and under offer stickers around’.
“Things are moving, which then changes the buyer’s behaviour if they think they may have missed out.”
A neutral market, that is, neither buyer’s or seller’s, would imply around 12,000 homes for sale across the metropolitan area, according to Mr Whiteman.
“Pre-COVID-19 we had high 14,000s – at one stage around 15,000. Now, there’s between 10,000 and 11,000,” he said. “So I wouldn’t say it’s a seller’s market but it certainly shifted the balance, and in most suburbs there’s less properties for sale.”
Mr Whiteman said he had seen improved conditions for sellers throughout the northern suburbs, as an affordable, sought-after location with the hub of Joondalup just down the road.
With current vacancy rates only two per cent, down from eight per cent just two years ago, he said rent was likely to go up but property prices were unlikely to fall.
“If you’ve got rents going up and prices going down, it creates an interesting comparison – say in Wanneroo, if you look at what you can buy a property for and what you can rent it for, there is not a big difference,” he said.
“There’s ripper value for buyers. Prices have never been so low.”