Rental shortage at end: REIWA

‘In the rental market, the Perth vacancy rate has jumped from 3.2 per cent in December (last year) to 3.8 per cent in February,’ he said. ‘A normal vacancy rate is 3 per cent.

‘The number of rentals in the market is above average and as a result, median rents have come down across Perth.’

In the south-east region of Perth, including Armadale, Gosnells and Serpentine-Jarrahdale, the median rent is currently $470 per week for a house and $320 per week for a unit or villa, which gives an overall median of about $400 per week for the region, Mr Airey said.

The number of rental properties in the south-east region increased by 20 per cent in the last three months of last year and are up by 76 per cent on the same time in 2012.

Mr Airey said there had been times when up to 20 people were applying for the same rental property, but the situation only occurred when the vacancy rate was tight.

‘Under current conditions, it’s most unlikely,’ he said. ‘In fact, REIWA members sometimes find that nobody comes to the home-open and so the owner is encouraged to drop the rent.

‘REIWA property managers report that there is a high level of break-leases happening, as existing tenants break their current lease in order to move to a better or cheaper property now that the market has relaxed. It’s possible that many of these break-lease tenants are putting pressure on individual properties that might be really well priced, but overall large crowds at home-opens are pretty rare.’