Business has become increasingly challenging for west-coast property managers, with properties becoming harder and harder to rent.
According to data released by the Real Estate Institute of WA, the vacancy rate for rental accommodation across Perth reached 4.9 per cent in the three months to May.
That compared to a rate of 4.2 per cent for the June 2014 quarter and 3.2 per cent for the June 2013 quarter.
There are currently 8,147 homes looking for tenants – a 39.9 per cent increase on the 5,824 vacancies in the June 2014 quarter.
REIWA president David Airey said the oversupply had been created by a slowdown in population growth and a significant amount of newly constructed dwellings coming to completion.
“The competition among property owners is having an effect on price, with the metropolitan median rent dropping by $5 on the March quarter to $425 per week, which represents a cut of $25 on the same time last year,” he said.
Perth’s median rent peaked at $475 per week in the middle of 2013, but has since fallen by $50, or around 10 per cent.
According to Mr Airey, the long-term equilibrium of Perth’s vacancy rate is 3 per cent, meaning the current rate signifies about 60 per cent more properties on the market than usual.
“Owners need to be realistic about the current market in order to attract and maintain good tenants,” he said.