12 April 2012
Preliminary March Quarter data by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia show that the vacancy rate for rental accommodation in Perth has stabilised, but that rents have risen slightly over the last few weeks.
The Institute's data show the metropolitan vacancy rate at 1.9 per cent for the first three months of the year, but during the months of February and March alone it dropped to 1.6 per cent.
REIWA President David Airey said this situation created upward pressure on rents during the quarter lifting the median rent for a house-by $5 per week and for a grouped dwelling by $20.
"The overall median rent for Perth is now $420 per week, which breaks down to $425 for a house or $400 for a unit, villa or townhouse.
"This represents a rent increase of 10 per cent on the same time last year.
"The good news for tenants is that the vacancy rate does not appear to be dropping any further and seasonal demand is leveling off.
"REIWA data show that the stock level for rental accommodation has improved by 12 per cent since the start of March, in sharp contrast to the 28 per cent fall during January and February," Mr Airey said.
Mr Airey said there was still reasonable demand for accommodation but that Perth would avoid the rental crisis it experienced in the March Quarter of 2007, when long queues of hopeful applicants were commonplace.
"As the market slowly improves more people are deciding to buy a place of their own and investors are now contributing more to the housing stock as well.
'I think it's safe to say that the rental market should balance out for the remainder of the year," Mr Airey said.