For the first time since January 2016, the number of vacant rental properties in Western Australia’s capital has fallen below 10,000, which may be indicative of future rent rises.
According to data from the Real Estate Institute of WA, the current number of vacant Perth properties is 9,990.
Shane Kempton, chief operations officer of Professionals Real Estate Group, said that this fall is significant and attributed it to an increase of investment in the resource sector and improvement in WA’s state economy.
In comparison to this time last year, there were 10,924 vacant rental properties.
"Over the past two years, there has been a surge in vacant rental properties in Perth due to weak population growth and a boom in new home construction,” Mr Kempton said. "The number of vacant rental properties in Perth peaked well over 11,000 earlier this year and has been on a steady decline since.
"With the number of vacant rental properties on a downward trajectory, Professionals is predicting that, by mid next year, landlords in Perth will be able to review their rents upwards once the rental vacancy rate falls below 3.5 per cent.”
Over the last two years, Mr Kempton said that landlords in Perth have cut rents, discouraging new investors entering Perth, but he now expects to see an increase of investor levels with the decrease of vacancies.
"Once rents start to rise, we should see an influx in property investors into the Perth market, particularly as property prices in Perth are so competitive,” the COO said.
"For example, the median price of a home in Perth is around half that of Sydney and substantially below that of Melbourne.
"Now is a great time to buy an investment property in Perth, especially in the more affordable areas of Perth where there is still a plentiful supply of homes for under $400,000.”
Of note is the south-eastern corridor of Perth from Kenwick to Armadale, which Mr Kempton stated “is very established with a high level of social infrastructure, including a rail link to Perth as well as schools and shopping which appeal to renters”.
Kenwick, in particular, Mr Kempton said, offers a median price for a home at $340,000. The area is located 15 kilometres away from Perth’s CBD and is in proximity to a train station and has access to the Albany and Roe highways.