Vacancy rate increase signals shift away from rentals

Vacancy rate increase signals shift away from rentals

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The large number of people leaving the rental system to buy their first home might be a contributing factor in helping to ease the Western Australian vacancy rate, according to a senior industry professional.

Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) president David Airey believes there are many factors driving down the vacancy rate, including first home buyers and the return of investors.

“It may also be due to the return of some investors who are adding stock to the rental supply,” Mr Airey said.

The latest rental data from the REIWA shows that in the three months to January there was a 13 per cent climb in the number of new leases from the December quarter.

Mr Airey said current data shows Perth’s overall median rent remains stable at $450 per week, however the median, specifically for houses, has risen by $10 to $470 per week.

Median rents for units, apartments, villas and townhouses were unchanged at $420 per week.

“The March quarter is traditionally the busiest time of the year in the rental sector, but this year the vacancy rate seems stable at around 1.9 per cent, and the median rent is also sitting still,” Mr Airey said.

Mr Airey said that stable house prices, low interest rates and the ongoing demand by tenants meant that rental yields were now more attractive to investors who had been absent from the market in recent years.

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