Perth vacancy rate drops again, heading towards a forty-year-low

The residential vacancy rate in Perth has dropped again, now sitting at 0.95 per cent.

Although it has only dropped 0.1 per cent since the month prior, this figure is narrowing in on the 40-year-low of 0.8 per cent, with low levels of investor finance demand painting a bleak picture of the foreseeable future.

“In 2007 when the vacancy rate hit below one per cent, investor lending activity in the peak six-month period was $5.8 billion,” Real Estate Institute of WA President, Damian Collins said.

“However, despite seeing the same investment opportunities, investor lending finance in the six months to September 2020 is 77 per cent lower than this.

“REIWA welcomes indications from the WA Government that they will not extend the emergency tenancy laws. It’s important we get investors back into the market, otherwise there will be a significant increase in the demand for public housing.” data shows that, at the end of October, there were 53 per cent fewer properties listed for rent than the year prior.

In addition, houses in Perth are selling twice as quickly as they were this time last year, also driven by a shortage – with a 20 per cent decrease in September, compared to the previous year.

Although only 2786 rental properties were listed at the end of October, and median rent was up $25 from last year, Perth is still the most affordable of the capital cities to rent in.

“The proportion of family income needed to meet rent repayments in REIA’s
​​Housing Affordability Report
 (June 2020 quarter) is 16.1 per cent in WA, making it the lowest in Australia, with the Australian Capital Territory the closest at 19.2 per cent,” Mr Collins explained.

“When the freeze on rents was put in place, Perth’s median weekly rent was sitting at $350, which is far from the $450-plus rents many experienced during the boom in 2013.

“While the potential increase will impact some people, most will be able to adjust household size and location, which will free up stock and help limit rent increases to a slower, manageable pace.”

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Nathan Jolly

Nathan Jolly was an in-house journalist with Elite Agent. He worked with the company from July 2020 to December 2020.