The Perth rental market is facing a downturn as vacancy rates rise and rents fall, according to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA).
The latest data showed the vacancy rate had risen to 3.1 per cent in September, up from 1.9 per cent at the end of 2012. Current rental listings are sitting at 3,850 dwellings.
“This is 80 per cent more stock than the same time last year and much of it is being driven by tenants leaving their rental to buy a home of their own,” REIWA deputy president Hayden Groves said.
In response, the median rent for houses dropped by $5 from the June quarter.
In the City of Perth, median rent dropped by $30 while rents in South Perth, the western suburbs, Melville and Mundaring dropped by more than $20.
The rent for units and apartments dropped by $10 in the same period, taking the current median rent to $450.
Mr Groves said that around 65 per cent of vacant rental properties were broadly within a 10 kilometre radius of the CBD.
Nonetheless, he said areas of metropolitan Perth were experiencing growth.
“Despite this overall fall in the number of available rental homes, some sub-markets such as Bassendean-Bayswater, Belmont and South Perth-Victoria Park saw increases of between five and 16 per cent for the quarter,” he said.
Mr Groves warned both tenants and owners to consult their property managers before acting on the changes in rental price.
“Tenants should talk with their property manager if they are thinking of a break-lease, and do the sums before making a decision," he said.
“Equally, it’s important for owners to understand that conditions have changed and they need to adjust their expectations of rental return by talking to their property manager to set the right price.”