Trade-up buyers are dominating the Perth market with the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia showing a strong growth in sales for the mid-to higher end properties.

According to REIWA Deputy President David Airey said the stabilising property prices and a resurgent local economy have fuelled renewed confidence among upgrade buyers despite interest rate rises.

"Perth's median house price has held up and is increasing due to renewed activity with trade-up buyers," he said. "REIWA data show that for the last six months it was sales of homes valued at between $500,000 and $600,000 which dominated the market, but for the December quarter alone we saw sales in the $600,000 to $750,000 range jump significantly from around 10% in September to just over 14% in December," he said.

Sales turnover between the December quarter of 2008 with the December quarter of 2009 also showed a jump from 8% to 14% for homes valued at between $600,000 and $750,000.

For homes valued at between $750,000 and $1 million, sales turnover have jumped from 6% to almost 9% in the same period, while premium property valued at between $1m and $2 million have increased from 4% of sales to 6% according to Airey.

Perth houses are also selling faster compared to a year ago. In the December quarter, the time it takes to sell a property dropped to 54 days from 64 days in the previous quarter.

Airey predicted that the shift in buyer activity would soon see Perth's median house price break though the peak of $475,000 reached in December 2007. "We have recovered almost all the decline in the median price which was experienced in 2008," he said.

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