Median rents rose by up to $20 across metropolitan Perth in the three months to August, pushed higher by tight vacancy rates, according to data from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA).
Its latest data for the three months to August, indicates that median house rents rose by $10 to $450 per week, while units, apartments and villas rose by $20 to $430 per week.
REIWA president David Airey, said the latest rise had followed a $10 dollar increase in the March quarter and a $10 increase in the June quarter.
“We have also seen the vacancy rate for available properties tighten in the three months to August, with REIWA recording a measure of just 1.8 per cent across the city,” Mr Airey said.
The long-term equilibrium for Perth’s rental vacancy rate is three per cent, according to REIWA.
Mr Airey said the pressure in the rental system was coming from a combination of strong population growth, first home buyer activity and weak investor interest.
“Our state has the highest rate of population growth in the country and this is placing increasing demand on the rental system,” he said.
“The number of properties listed for rent has fallen by 15 per cent from almost 2,700 properties in early July to 2,300 by the end of August.
“In addition to this, first home buyer activity is strong and this means that a lot of the stock for sale at the more affordable end of the price range is being snapped up by young buyers rather than investors, who remain scarce in the current market,” Mr Airey said.
Mr Airey said that investors own around half of all multi-residential dwellings, but that current turnover in that sector of the market was weak.
“While sales volumes for houses in Perth have largely returned to normal, sales for units are about 30 per cent below where they might normally be.
“Investors are not replenishing the housing system with much needed rental stock as dwellings are being removed from the market by owner-occupiers,” Mr Airey said.
Mr Airey said that WA’s increasing population and decreasing stock of listings for both sales and rentals would continue to put price pressure on the housing system until supply could better meet demand.