Median rents in Perth rose in the March quarter, despite the number of properties available for lease increasing by more than 50 per cent in the six months leading up to March.
Perth’s overall median rent rose 4.4 per cent on quarter and was up by almost 12 per cent on the same time last year, with asking prices for houses sitting at $480, and $450 per week for a unit.
President of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA), David Airey, said the latest increase was surprising.
“Equally surprising was the rise in properties for lease through the March quarter itself because this is traditionally a period of high demand that usually causes a seasonal dip in the vacancy rate,” Mr Airey said.
REIWA analysis suggests that while there was some modest increase in demand for rentals during the March quarter, it was offset by properties being freed-up by first home buyers leaving the rental system for a home of their own.
“The inner-city zone within about 10km of the CBD remains the dominant rental market as it includes about 85 per cent of all multi-residential property in the metropolitan area, of which half is rental property," he said. "This central sub-region saw a rise of $30 to a weekly median of $500.
“While the outer regions experienced stronger demand for leases during the quarter, up by 19 per cent on December, it was the nine per cent increase in leases in the inner city areas that were responsible for the overall uplift in metropolitan median rent.
“This was due specifically to the large rise in leases for strata dwellings following a dip in that sector during December."
Mr Airey cautioned against reading too much into the rent increase illustrated in several sub-markets, saying much was caused by the types of homes being leased during this period and which may have skewed the March data.
“We need to consider the rental data in context and the fact is the vacancy rate has eased off, lifting from 1.9 in December to around 2.3 per cent for the March quarter.”