LEASING activity in the Perth rental market increased nine per cent in the first three months of the year, according to the latest data from Reiwa.
Other key market indicators also showed improvement during the March quarter 2019, causing the Perth vacancy rate to decline to 2.5 per cent, the lowest quarterly vacancy rate since the March quarter 2013.
Perth’s overall median rent price held at $350 per week for a ninth consecutive quarter.
“Although overall rents are stable on both a quarterly and annual basis, the median house ($360 per week) and unit ($330 per week) rents are both up $10 per week compared to the March quarter 2018,” Reiwa president Damian Collins said.
“Reiwa.com analysis also shows there were more units leased this quarter than last, which suggests the composition of leased stock is impacting price movement in the overall market.”
Despite the overall median rent being stable, 29 per cent of suburbs in the Perth region saw an increase in rents during the quarter, while 36 per cent recorded increases over the last year.
“The suburbs to record the biggest growth in median rent price during the quarter were Subiaco, Inglewood, Safety Bay, Wannanup and Embleton, while annually the suburbs to record the biggest increase in rent (percentage wise) were Shenton Park, Attadale, Wembley Downs, Embleton and Dudley Park,” Mr Collins said.
“If rental market conditions continue on its current upward trajectory, which we expect it to, it’s only a matter of time before we start to see Perth’s overall median rent rise.”
There were 14,003 properties leased in Perth during the March quarter, up from 12,870 in the December quarter 2018.
“Reiwa.com analysis shows 42 per cent of suburbs in the Perth region saw a spike in leasing volumes during the quarter, with Kingsley, Swanbourne, Pearsall, Queens Park and Dalkeith recording the most significant growth in activity levels,” Mr Collins said.
Other suburbs to perform well during the quarter were Mosman Park, Falcon, Floreat, Carramar and Stirling.
“Seven of the 10 suburbs that saw the biggest increase in leasing activity had a median rent price above the overall Perth rent of $350, with four of those 10 located in the western suburbs, suggesting there is particularly strong demand for rentals in Perth’s more affluent suburbs,” Mr Collins said.
At the end of the quarter there were 6,738 properties for rent in Perth.
“This figure is 2 per cent lower than the December quarter 2018 and a substantial 25 per cent lower than the March quarter 2018,” Mr Collins said.
“We’ve seen a significant decline in rental listings over the last 12 months, which has played a key role in the rental market transitioning in favour of landlords.
“With less stock available and increased activity, there is more competition amongst tenants to secure their preferred rental.”
It took Perth landlords an average of 42 days to find a tenant for their rental property during the March quarter.
“This is two days quicker than the December quarter and five days quicker than last year’s March quarter,” Mr Collins said.
“We’ve seen a significant improvement in average leasing times over the last couple of years, since peaking in June 2017 at 57 days.
“Average leasing times are now the lowest they’ve been since March 2015, which is great news for landlords and illustrates that tenants need to act faster to ensure they don’t miss out.”