Perth’s rental crisis has hit a new low, as the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) revealed that the number of homes available for rent in the city fell to its lowest level in more than a decade.
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The latest data from the state’s peak real estate body showed that the number of rental properties on the market at the end of September stood at a mere 1,675.
According to REIWA, the last time the levels were this low was in November 2010, when 1,537 properties were available for rent.
REIWA president Damian Collins said that now was a challenging time for tenants, with rental supply failing to keep up with the city’s growing population.
“Perth’s population has increased by 20 per cent since November 2010, which highlights how low the current rental stock is,” Mr Collins stated.
He also revealed that construction delays and labour shortages are forcing families to stay in the rental market for a longer period while they wait for houses to be built, which is contributing to the tight rental market.
The REIWA executive also pointed out that the increase in weekly rents was a reflection of the tight market.
Perth’s median rent price was $495 per week in September, which is $15 more than in August. Since April 2022, the city’s median weekly rental price has risen from $460.
“It is not surprising that rent prices have increased given that listings are at a 12-year low,” Mr Collins said.
“Unfortunately, rents will continue to rise until we see more rental properties come on to the market.”
In another indication that Perth’s rental market is red-hot, data showed that it took about 16 days for rental properties to be snapped up during September. The figures are the same as August 2022 but two days faster than the same period last year.
The fastest-leasing suburbs were Maddington (seven days), Tapping (eight days), Byford (nine days), Tuart Hill (nine days) and Piara Waters (nine days). Other suburbs to record fast leasing times were Greenfields, Warnbro, Yanchep, Joondanna and Gosnells.
To ease the city’s rental conundrum, Mr Collins underlined that “mum-and-dad” investors who have rental properties to offer to tenants in Western Australia play a vital role in ensuring rents remain as affordable as possible.
“Our research shows that 72 per cent of people who own investment properties only own one, and are most likely working as school teachers, nurses or other healthcare professionals,” he stated.
He also reiterated his calls for the West Australian government to hold off making any critical changes to the state’s tenancy laws, as doing so could only do more harm to the already-struggling rental market.
“Any changes to WA’s tenancy laws that discourage investors from buying residential property in WA will make an already tough situation worse,” Mr Collins warned.
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