Perth unit rents rise as vacancies tighten to 2.3%

Larry SchlesingerDecember 8, 2020

Rental vacancies in the Perth metro region dropped to 2.3% in February, according to Real Estate Institute of WA figures for the three months to February. 

This is down from 2.8% at the end of last year. 

As a result of the tighter market median asking rent for units, apartments, villas and townhouses increased by $10 a week to a median of $390 per week. 

Rents for houses remained steady at $420 per week. 

Demand for rental accommodation was particurlarly high along Perth's north coastal market from Scarborough upwards, which recorded a vacancy rate of just 1.2% for February and 1.5% for the three months to February. 

In the western suburbs the rate remained steady at 2.3%. 

“The vacancy rate has tightened in Perth's outer southwest corridor where the monthly vacancy rate for Kwinana-Rockingham has fallen one percentage point from 2.5% in January to 1.5% in February, which means that in the three months to February the vacancy rate was 2.2%,” says REIWA president David Airey. 

Airey says the fall in the vacancy rate is not surprising because the volume of property listed for rent has fallen 24% since the start of the year, from 2,900 homes to 2,200 at the end of February. 

“It’s also the case that there is strong seasonal demand for rental property in the March quarter,” he says. 

Airey the rental pressure is coming from those who are opting to rent rather than buy and from the growing demand for accommodation from new migrants flowing into WA, which caused a solid upturn in rents in 2011. 

“The long term equilibrium vacancy rate in Perth is 3%, and the lowest point we have recorded was just 0.8% in the March quarter of 2007,” he says. 

Metropolitan rents could tighten further in the coming months with the “volatile” month-only reading for February showing a vacancy rate of just 1.6%. The last time a reading of 1.6% was recorded was four years ago for the December quarter of 2007.

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Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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