In just two months, Perth’s vacancy rate has dropped from two per cent to 1.3 per cent, a situation REIWA called “a recipe for disaster” for tenants looking for a rental property.
Over September, rental listings fell eight per cent, with just 2926 properties being available over the month – the lowest it’s been since 2012, according to reiwa.com data.
REIWA President Damian Collins calls it a “severe rental shortage”, noting the city is “now on the brink of a rental crisis”.
“With Perth’s vacancy rate sitting at 1.3 per cent, it is no surprise that we are seeing listings for rent continue to lower. In addition, a number of our regional members are reporting vacancy rates close to zero, so the impact is being felt across the entire state,” Mr Collins said.
“Leasing days was also notably faster in September, taking a median of 19 days to lease a property in Greater Perth – making it the quickest time to lease since June 2013.”
The median rent has remained stable at $360 per week, however four of the top 10 suburbs in Perth experienced the highest increase in rental demand, with average rental prices in Cottesloe, Innaloo, Piara Waters and Nedlands leaping north of $400.
“With population growth returning closer to long-term average levels in Western Australia, the State Government needs to encourage investment in property to accommodate returning expats and existing tenants,” Mr Collins said.
“There is the possibility we will run out of properties next year unless something is done to entice investors back and encourage first-home buying in established areas.
“While it’s clear the WA property sector is in recovery mode with the worst behind us, we will have to deal with low levels of supply in the rental and sales market for some period of time.
“In the upcoming WA Budget, we are urging the State Government to introduce at least a $7000 grant on established homes for first home buyers, which will help take pressure off the rental market.
“With prices on the rise, net migration at the highest level since March 2014 and record low interest rates, there has not been a better time in many years for investors and home buyers to get into the market.”