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REIWA: Dwindling vacancy rate “a recipe for disaster”

In two months, Perth’s vacancy rate has dropped from 2 per cent to 1.3 per cent, and the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia expects this figure to keep dropping – a situation they are dubbing “a recipe for disaster” for tenants looking for a rental property.

“The McGowan Government’s short-sighted decision to extend the emergency period for all tenancies is making a difficult problem even worse,” REIWA President Damian Collins said.

“Unfortunately, sitting tenants are unlikely to move or adjust household size as they are paying below market rents.

“In addition, we are seeing an influx of people trying to find a new rental property in a market with a very low vacancy rate.”

Mr Collins said that, rather than extend the blanket legislation, extra criteria should have been added to limit help to those who actually require it.

“Right now, investors are sitting on the sidelines partially due to the COVID-19 residential tenancy laws and by extending the legislation on all properties, it means investors are likely to continue to stay out of the market, which will further reduce supply at the worst possible time,” Mr Collins continued.

“It’s not too late for the McGowan Government to change their position, as we need to get investment confidence back, so investors bring the badly needed supply of rental properties back into the market.

“Without any change in the policy, it’s feared that a rental shortage will quickly turn into a rental crisis.”

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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.