Rental vacancy rates are approaching an all-time low in Western Australia, according to recent Real Estate Institute of WA (REIWA) statistics.
A drop in the metropolitan vacancy rate was seen over the March quarter, according to the REIWA, whose statistics recorded a 1.9 per cent rate for the first three months of the year. In February and March the rate dropped a further 0.3 per cent.
This tightening of the rental market was also recorded by The ACTON Group, a predominantly Perth-based real estate group with more than 20 offices in WA.
The latest statistics show the vacancy rate for their properties under management is hovering at around 1.5 per cent.
REIWA president David Airey said this situation created upward pressure on rents during the quarter lifting the median rent for a house by $5 per week and for a grouped dwelling by $20.
“The overall median rent for Perth is now $420 per week, which breaks down to $425 for a house or $400 for a unit, villa or townhouse.
“This represents a rent increase of 10 per cent on the same time last year.”
ACTON managing director Graeme Baxter said in his company’s most recent newsletter that it has long been accepted that when vacancy rates drop below two per cent that the industry is facing a “rental crisis” in terms of available rental accommodation.
“This low rate undoubtedly puts pressure on our property management teams but on the positive side it sees upward pressure on rents which is a relief for property investors,” he said.
“Latest statistics indicate that the medium rent for Perth is now $425 per week a rise of 10 per cent for the year to date.
“This is not only good news for landlords it is also a positive stimulus for sales teams to target the investor market and grow your region's rental management portfolio.”
REIWA said rental accommodation stock levels had improved since the start of March, rising 12 per cent.
This was “in sharp contrast to the 28 per cent fall during January and February,” Mr Airey said.
Mr Airey said there was still reasonable demand for accommodation but that Perth would avoid the rental crisis it experienced in the March quarter of 2007, when long queues of hopeful applicants were commonplace.