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As we reflect on 2016 what can we take away about the property market in the Great Southern? So here’s the review. Overall we have seen a 2.6% decline in property values over the last 12 months which shows that there is still softening of the market. The large push in listings through the latter part of the year means that stock levels are still high with approx. 1260 properties for sale listed on www.realestate.com.au as of writing this article. Over 50% of that is residential housing. This comes on the back of a soft listing period through winter when stock levels were 10 – 15% lower than where they currently sit. If you average out over the last 5 years REIWA data indicates only a 0.1% growth in property values which means we have had a flat market for some period of time.
Properties in the higher end of the market haven’t moved much with less than a dozen sales over $900,000 in the last 12 months. Building approvals have been strong with over 90 residential approvals in the last 4 months to the value of over $37 million. On average the last 2 years has seen 240 residential houses built per year so that’s well on target again.
The residential rentals currently sit at just over 100 available with vacancy rates at approx. 3.5 – 4% which is well below the Perth rate of 6.5%. The median rent for Albany is $340 per week with a median residential price of $375,000 compared to Perth at $380 per week and median price of $480,000. Employment has a big factor on tenants decision making and most of the change in tenancies is down to people either moving away for this reason or relocating back due to family connections.
In the commercial sector the retail, office and shop properties have been soft with more activity for sheds and warehouse. With businesses confidence steady without brimming with confidence it has effected this sector. And that’s had an impact in leasing with vacancies approx. 10%. This is still lower than the 25% currently in Perth.
So what does 2017 hold? Well as unpredictable as this year has been when we saw things like Brexit and Trump you just never know. But one thing is for sure, people will always need a roof over their head, people will have the Australian dream of owning property, banks need lending to happen to continue to operate and people move on average of 7 times in their lifetime. What that tells you is that there is always something going on in the property sector no matter what part of the world you live in.