Perth rental stock hits the lowest level in 12 years

Perth rental volumes continue to plummet, with new data showing the number of available properties has reached a 12-year low.

According to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA), there were just 1675 properties available for rent at the end of September, the lowest level since the peak of the mining boom in November 2010, when only 1537 homes were available.

REIWA President Damian Collins said today’s market was challenging for tenants, with rental supply struggling to keep up with Perth’s growing population.

“Perth’s population has increased by 20 per cent since November 2010, which highlights how low the current rental stock is,” Mr Collins said.

“Construction delays and labour shortages means families are renting for longer while they wait for houses to be built, which is contributing to the tight rental market.

“We expect this pressure to ease as more new home builds reach completion, but this will take time and only free up a limited amount of stock, as some people building are living with their parents or in share housing.”

According to REIWA, Perth’s median rent price was $495 per week in September, up $15 from August.

“It is not surprising that rent prices have increased given that listings are at a 12-year low,” Mr Collins said.

“Unfortunately, rents will continue to rise until we see more rental properties come on to the market.”

It took a median of 16 days to lease a rental during September, which was the same as August.

The fastest leasing suburbs were Maddington (seven days), Tapping (eight days), Byford (nine days), Tuart Hill (nine days) and Piara Waters (nine days).

Other suburbs to record fast leasing times were Greenfields, Warnbro, Yanchep, Joondanna and Gosnells.

“There are clearly challenges in the rental market, however we have the most affordable housing climate in the country, an enviable lifestyle, plentiful job opportunities and a strong economy making our state a very attractive option for people wishing to move here,” Mr Collins said.

Mr Collins said the rental shortage could be exacerbated by any potential changes to tenancy laws.

“Mum-and-dad investors who have rental properties to offer to tenants in WA are critical for ensuring rents remain as affordable as possible,” Mr Collins said.

“Our research shows that 72 per cent of people who own investment properties only own one, and are most likely working as school teachers, nurses or other health care professionals.

“Any changes to WA’s tenancy laws that discourage investors from buying residential property in WA will make an already tough situation worse. 

“That’s why REIWA is working hard to keep tenancy laws fair and equitable for all parties.”

Meanwhile, Perth home prices declined 0.4 per cent in September according to CoreLogic.

“Despite the decline in overall home values, our data revealed there were a number of Perth suburbs to record strong house price growth,” Mr Collins said.

“WA is still in an excellent position for price growth with our strong economy, growing population and limited stock levels.”

The five suburbs to record the biggest increase in price during September were Singleton (3.9 per cent to $535,000), Ocean Reef (2.8 per cent to $915,000), Beckenham (2.7 per cent to $467,500), Bibra Lake (2.7 per cent to $610,000) and South Perth (2.5 per cent to $1.55 million).

Other suburbs to perform well were Falcon, Safety Bay, Dawesville, Bullsbrook and Melville.

The median time to sell a house declined to 15 days in September, which is two days faster than August.

“We are still well-below a balanced market, which is about 30 to 40 days, with quick selling times and low stock for sale fuelling buyer competition,” Mr Collins said.

“These market conditions still point towards a seller’s market.”

The suburbs to record the fastest selling times were Cooloongup (three days), Palmyra (five days), Warnbro (six days), Tapping (six days) and Success (six days).

The other fastest selling suburbs were Clarkson, Butler, Nedlands, Darlington and Seville Grove.

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.