IF lending standards tighten further, fewer people may be able to buy a home, which could reduce sales and prices, according to REIWA.
President Damian Collins said market conditions throughout 2018 had been fairly subdued, with the most significant improvements occurring in the rental sector.
Mr Collins said sales in Perth had hovered at about 500 a week while listings for sale were largely unchanged from 2017 levels, fluctuating between 13,000 and 16,000.
Listings should continue to trend at current levels throughout 2019.
“While we expect sales activity in 2019 to largely reflect what we’ve seen this year, there is a possibility that rising consumer confidence levels, coupled with improved housing affordability, could translate into increased sales volumes in 2019,’’ he said.
“If weekly sales remain at current levels or better, Perth’s median house price could improve during the next 12 months.
“However, if lending standards tighten further, this could restrict the number of people that are able to purchase a property, which could negatively impact sales and prices.
“Additionally, if the banks choose to increase interest rates any further, this also has the potential to adversely affect buying and lending conditions in WA.’’
REIWA analysis shows the upward trajectory of the Perth rental market should continue through 2019, with stable population growth and slowing new-building construction levels the key drivers for this improvement.
Mr Collins said the Perth rental market had led the way this year, with stable median rents, healthy leasing activity levels, declining listings and a plummeting vacancy rate.
“With population growth in WA expected to remain stable and new dwelling commencements slowing, available rental stock should continue to decline.’’
He expected this to put further downward pressure on the vacancy rate.