Suburban hotspots hold wide appeal

Keren BellosThe West Australian
Baldivis is WA’s most in-demand suburb, with this four-bedroom, two-bathroom house on an 838sqm block selling for $565,000 in five days, $16,000 more than its price tag.
Camera IconBaldivis is WA’s most in-demand suburb, with this four-bedroom, two-bathroom house on an 838sqm block selling for $565,000 in five days, $16,000 more than its price tag. Credit: Supplied.

Surging buyer demand has propelled Baldivis to top spot on a list of Western Australia’s most sought-after suburbs.

New data shows the semi-rural locale 46km south of Perth attracted 16,674 serious house hunters on realestate.com.au in the 12 months to August.

Close behind were Scarborough and Dianella, drawing 16,452 and 16,399 highly-engaged buyers – or those likely close to making a purchase – respectively.

The strong demand drove Baldivis’ median house price up 13 per cent to $419,000 during the period, which was still well below the Greater Perth median of $530,000.

The Agency Perth Property Partner Jack Wormington said there was a real surge in activity within the area during the past six to nine months as buyers realised its properties offered outstanding value for money.

“Coming off the back of a building boom, they are finding Baldivis provides plenty of opportunities to save the time and expense of construction because many newer homes are still selling for below replacement value,” he said.

“There is also a rather substantial price difference between Baldivis and similar suburbs just 10-15 minutes closer to the Perth CBD, so many buyers who commute to the city are jumping at the chance to secure a bigger home with better finishes for less money and minimal difference in travel time.”

Aside from locals wanting to upsize or downsize, many new buyers from the northern suburbs and the eastern states were entering the market, with well-presented homes and lifestyle properties in high demand.

“In most cases, pre-approved or cash buyers are coming out on top and many properties are achieving record-breaking prices,” Mr Wormington said.

He attributed Baldivis’ popularity to “all the amenities any age group could need”, including easy access to the train station and freeway, fantastic public and private schools and a huge choice of places to wine and dine.

Looking at Scarborough, Davey Real Estate Sales Consultant Rav Kandola said recent demand for houses had surpassed expectations and the agency couldn’t keep up.

“We are seeing multiple offers presented on homes in the area as families and professional couples are desperate for three-by-two or four-by-two homes on half or full blocks,” she said.

“For these buyers, purchasing in the area is a long-term goal, so they’re quite happy to renovate if the lot and internal configurations work well.”

Miss Kandola said Scarborough, which recorded a median house price of $804,000, was one of the last affordable beachside suburbs on the northern coastal strip, with a range of homes at different price points for buyers to choose from.

It also owed its popularity to school catchment zones, walkability and the Karrinyup shopping centre and Scarborough foreshore redevelopments.

In Dianella, Passmore Real Estate Director Mark Passmore said its market was as hot as he had seen during more than 30 years of working in the area.

He said the popular family area, with a median of $675,000, was “under siege” by buyers at all levels.

“After experiencing the peaks in 1988, 1992, 2000, 2007 and 2011, I believe this is going to be the fastest growing and highest I will see,” Mr Passmore said.

“On the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, we were running with up to five offers on the homes we opened and/or multiple email or phone enquiries.

“It is an overwhelming situation for most buyers, who are sort of in shock at the weekly changes to pricing.”

Mr Passmore said people were craving more space in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The traditional family homes on larger 600-900sqm Dianella blocks are the preference for couples through to families,” he said.

“That’s closely followed by split blocks with side-by-side homes and subdivided lots with front-to-rear homes in duplex developments on 350-500sqm, which are favoured by young couples with twin incomes, downsizers and those who have reassessed their quality of life in recent times.

“With prices escalating daily in the inner-city and western suburbs, Dianella’s broad range of homes offer real value for money.”

Premium single-storey family houses priced from $700,000 to $1 million and two-storey homes from $900,000 to $2 million were selling, with many buyers making offers and missing out.

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