Property markets in resource-rich Western Australia have become unsettled in the March quarter after three long years of scorching growth. Preliminary data suggested the overall metropolitan median price fell by 1% to $452,000 in the metropolitan area; however the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) noted that prices are on the rise once again. REIWA figures showed median house prices grew to around $455,000 by the second week of May. Rob Druitt, president, REIWA said the initial drop may have been caused by a large drop in first homebuyers over the last few months. However, he expected figures to take a positive turn before next quarter due to the government's boosting of the tax-free stamp duty threshold to $500,000 for first homebuyers. "These cuts mean that first homebuyers purchasing a house for around $350,000 will save $13,000, while those who can manage to buy at $500,000 will save more than $20,000," said Druitt. Druitt added the current volatility in the market presents a great opportunity for purchasers and urged first homebuyers to jump at the opportunity. Regardless of shifting statistics, Druitt has said it is still good news for first homebuyers and those hoping to upgrade - allowing for a "freeing up of rental stock for others and easing the squeeze [for vacancy rates]". "This in turn will mean that up-graders who've been waiting for a pool of first homebuyers to relieve them of their existing property will now have the opportunity to sell, upgrade and move, helping to reinvigorate the housing sector across the board," he added.

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