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Almost zero: Perth’s vacancy rate falls again

Perth’s vacancy rate is heading towards zero after hitting a new low of 0.4 per cent in March.

According to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA), this surpasses the previous low of 0.6 per cent, which was sent in December 2022.

Following a slight increase to 0.7 per cent in January 2023, the vacancy rate has consistently hovered at this level throughout the year and into 2024.

However, REIWA President Joe White said there might be a shift on the horizon.

He noted a deceleration in the demand for premium rental properties.

REIWA’s data reveals that properties listed for more than $1000 a week took an average of 20 days to lease in the March quarter, in contrast to homes priced below this threshold, which leased in an average of 15 days.

In certain suburbs, where median dwelling rents are below Perth’s average of $649, properties were leased in just 10 to 11 days, during the quarter.

“The demand remains robust in more affordable price brackets,” Mr White said.

“Yet, we’ve observed a drop in attendance at home opens in some mid-range suburbs, despite the continued reception of multiple applications.”

Mr White said affordability challenges had prompted shifts in tenant behaviour, including increased household sizes, a move towards homeownership, or extended stays in the family home as strategies to navigate the constrained rental market.

He also pointed out the necessity for investors to exhibit flexibility in pricing to attract and retain tenants, emphasising the importance of heeding property managers’ advice.

Mr White said supply remained an issue in the rental market, but members were reporting increasing supply in some suburbs.

“The key to ending the rental crisis is new supply, and some members are reporting newly built homes owned by Eastern States investors are finally coming to the market,” he said.

“This is predominantly in outer-lying suburbs where there has been land to develop.

“This is good news, but we still have a long way to go before we can confirm the market has changed and we see a return to a balanced market.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.