Helen Shield | The West

A strong increase in rental demand indicated the WA economy was about to turn, REA Group economist Nerida Conisbee told a Property Council of Australia WA function last week.

Ms Conisbee said the problem for Perth had been jobs and the creation of jobs in the past couple of years was likely to fire up the housing market.

“What we are starting to see is the prices in Perth’s premium suburbs increasing,” Ms Conisbee said.

“Places like Nedlands, Dalkeith and North Fremantle are seeing more than 15 per cent price growth.

“When you are looking at a market that’s in recovery, you look at how the best suburbs are performing, at least initially.”

She said a rise in rental demand was an early indication that “the buyer is back”.

“In 2014 we saw a 34 per cent drop in rental demand in Perth follow the mining boom and now we’re in a much different position with demand increased to more than 20 per cent which we haven’t seen over the past four years.”