Perth’s popular first home buyer picks 2021

Looking to buy in Perth? Vice-President of the Real Estate Institute of WA (REIWA), Joe White, discusses the current Perth property market, and predicts that we’ll see the market ease off a little towards the end of the year.

Based on REIWA sales data from April 2020 to April 2021, Joe shares his popular picks for this year, along with some handy knowledge for first home buyers.

Top suburbs to buy in Perth

When it comes to focusing your search, Joe believes it’s a good idea to look at the cheaper, smaller houses in better areas. As he puts it, “it doesn’t matter what your home looks like. You can always fix up a house, but you can never change its location.”

Based on this, Joe has focused on the cheapest last quarter sales (January 2021 to March 2021) in more expensive areas.


“You can’t go wrong with Innaloo,” says Joe. It’s closest to the beach on this list and super close to various transport, as well as major shopping centres. It’s close to a big employment hub in Osborne Park, and part of it’s included in the catchment area for Churchlands Senior High School.

Tuart Hill

The last year has seen first home buyer sales increase by 21% in Tuart Hill. With great access to the CBD, Joe says the appeal is also due to the surrounding suburbs (Coolbinia, Menora and Mount Hawthorn) – as he puts it, “these are prestigious areas, so the dominos will hit each other as they head out from the city centre."


This area has been extremely popular with first home buyers over the last year, with sales up a considerable 33% – and the median price is currently at $505,000. One of the major drawcards that Joe sees here is its proximity to the river. “It also has a great mix of old and new, so you end up with a great cross section of residents.”


Another suburb that’s seen first home buyer growth in the last year (11%), Cloverdale offers a lot of convenience given how close it is to the airport. This gives FIFO workers (and those who have to travel for work often) a good base. Joe also states that “the employment hub of the whole airport precinct is very appealing."


Being so close to Victoria Park, which is a great entertainment and retail centre, is a big positive here. It’s also close to the CBD, and has easy access to the Causeway and Graham Farmer Freeway.


This is another suburb that has seen significant first home buyer attention in the last year, being up 39%. With the median house price sitting at $535,000, it could still fall within budget and provide you with a great location that’s close to the river and not far from the airport.


“I know this is a big call, but I can see Willagee being like the next Subiaco,” says Joe. While the central location and access to public transport is great, it’s also the character and potential for growth and employment opportunity that Joe is excited by. “It has old houses on big blocks and is likely to go through a transformation – there’s lots you can do with older houses."


First home buyers have also shown Embleton a lot of love in the last 12 months, with its sales up 39% during this time. The median house price is $475,000, which is great bang for your buck for a location that Joe expects to have a reputation boost in the near future due to potential re-development.


Joe believes that Yokine has always been a good, reliable suburb. This is another one where location could be very helpful down the track, with Joe affirming “it’s close to prestigious suburbs, so you’re just looking for an upmarket spread on the same line."


First home buyers may think that Como is a little out of their price range, but Joe assures us that a simple two-bedroom unit here is affordable, and worth it. 10 minutes to the city with quick and easy access to Fremantle, Como’s in a perfect spot for those wanting to be in the middle of the action. It’s also close to Curtin Uni, has endless public transport options, and is near the river.

Joe’s top five tips for buying your first home

Buying your first home can be overwhelming, and Joe knows the level of anxiety is high.

“It’s really important that when someone buys their first home it’s a good decision, because the consequences are big if it doesn’t work out. It could cost somewhere between 50-100k to sell, and you lose your first home buyer benefits (like stamp duty exemption).”

Here are five things you may not have thought about that might help make your decision easier…

  • Buying a big, new 4x2 house on the outskirts of the city might seem like a good idea, but think about what Joe likes to call the “action zones”. While these bigger houses in the outer suburbs do have their place (especially for young families who want to be close to particular schools), the closer you can get to major things, the better – like shopping centres, sporting and entertainment venues, parks and the beach
  • Consider what your travel time will cost you in other areas of life. For example, “it’s not ideal for parents to be spending time on public transport when they could be spending that time with their kids, or each other.”
  • The costs of living in the house include more than just what happens inside – travel expenses and travel time are big ones. “There’s an opportunity cost of spending time on a train when no-one’s paying you,” Joe reminds us
  • Apart from the wet areas (like the bathroom and kitchen), most parts of the house don’t wear out very much. This means not everything in the house needs to be brand new – as long as the house is structurally sound
  • If you’re not sure what constitutes a good neighbourhood, Joe suggests looking at the mix of demographics in the area. “Look for social engagement opportunities to mix up generations and create a more homogenous population, so it’s not just one type of people in the area. This makes it a more tolerant neighbourhood.”

Check out Joe’s tips in more detail.

Browse our range of home loans

...and find one to suit you

Ask an expert

Get in touch with a Home Lending Specialist, and they’ll respond within one business day. You can talk on the phone, meet at a branch, or have a Mobile Lending Manager come to you.

The information contained in this article is of a general nature and is not intended to be nor should it be considered as professional advice. You should not act on the basis of anything contained in this article without first obtaining specific professional advice. Also to the extent permitted by law, Bankwest, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL / Australian credit licence 234945, its related bodies corporate, employees and contractors accept no liability or responsibility to any persons for any loss which may be incurred or suffered as a result of acting on or refraining from acting as a result of anything contained in this article.