Jonathan Chancellor | 16 January 2013

Perth rental market intensity eases slightly: REIWA

Perth’s rental market has shown signs of easing towards the end of 2012, according to preliminary data from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.

It had the December quarter vacancy rate edging marginally higher from 1.8% to 1.9%.

The REIWA president David Airey suggested it was accompanied by an easing in the previous climb in rents over the previous year.

“Our data show that while the median rent for a house lifted by $10 to $460 per week, the median rent for strata dwellings such as units, apartments, villas and townhouses fell by $10 to $420 per week,” Mr Airey said.

Mr Airey said the December quarter saw a decrease in demand for rentals and an increase in listings.

“With the overall median rent remaining the same in the December quarter as it was with the September quarter, weekly rental listings topped 2,800 in mid December before decreasing towards the end of the year."

However as at early January there were 3,000 properties up for rent.

Mr Airey said new leases fell by 3% from 11,500 in the September quarter to 11,200 in the December quarter.

“Despite the modest drop in price for units and apartments in the last three months of 2012, we need to keep in mind that the March quarter is always the strongest period in the year for rental activity, so this drop may only be a temporary reprieve for tenants.

“The median rent may pick up again as the year progresses, but as always this will depend on supply and demand,” Mr Airey said.

The situation appears to have changed on the September outlook when it was noted Perth rents "are continuing to rise and there is no respite in sight." 

"I can't see any signs on the horizon that will reduce the demand for rentals," said REIWA's David Airey in his September tweet.

"It appears Perth is a popular place to live, we've got an ongoing shortage of rental supply, so it's likely that rents at the very least will remain stable but are likely to have increases."

 The current REIWA outlook differs from the Australian Property Monitors whose report issued today suggests strong rental growth will continue in Perth this year.