Buyers started to pulling away from the market this year

Perth saw declining purchase and leasing activity and rising inventory this year, according to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia’s (REIWA) 2018 residential real estate market overview.

Activity levels ranged between 315 and 611 sales per week during 2018. The numbers averaged out to be nearly 498 sales per week. This is 5% lower than the 2017 calendar year average of 522 sales per week.

REIWA said that the downward shift was driven by fewer land sales, which were estimated to track lower by 17% on average than last year. House and unit sales, on the other hand, dropped an average of 3% and 5%, respectively, from a year ago.

Further, listings for sale rose, up from 13,075 in January to a peak of 15,937 last month.

In terms of the rental market, between 699 and 1,358 properties were leased per week. The average number of properties leased in 2018 was 1,018 per week, a 3.8% slide from the 2017 average.

Notably, listings for rent have also fallen drastically over 2018. From a high of 9,429 in January, numbers dipped to a low of 6,927 during the week ending Dec. 9.

The vacancy rate has also continued to improve, dropping from 5.4% in January to 2.9% in November.

“Although leasing activity has been softer in 2018 than in 2017, the vacancy rate has experienced a notable (improvement) due to there being fewer properties available for rent in Perth and slowing new building activity.” REIWA stated.