Homes renting quicker, fastest in nearly five years

Stock image.
Stock image.

TENANTS are acting faster to secure a property as Perth’s rental market continues to improve – the average days to lease has fallen to its lowest level in nearly five years according to Reiwa.

The data for the December quarter 2019 showed the vacancy rate declined to 2.4 per cent, down from 2.5 per cent in the previous quarter and the average days to lease fell to 39 days, the fastest since March 2015.

Deputy president Lisa Joyce said the last quarter of 2019 showed Perth’s rental market had strengthened, with signs that it could continue into 2020.

“With the number of listings available on reiwa.com falling by 18 per cent compared to December 2018, it is putting pressure on the vacancy rate which has lowered to where it was in March 2019,” she said.

“This is also impacting the average days to lease making it four days quicker than this time last year.

“With fewer available rentals on the market, competition amongst tenants has increased requiring them to act faster to secure a lease.”

Despite these improvements, Perth’s overall median rent price remained at $350 per week during the quarter.

“The median rent in Perth has been stable for 11 consecutive quarters, which is the longest stretch of stable rents Perth has seen since reiwa.com first started capturing rental data in 2001,” Ms Joyce said.

“When we drill down further and isolate houses and units, the results for the quarter are very pleasing for landlords, with houses and units experiencing increases in rents compared to the December quarter 2018 – the median house rent increased $10 per week to $370, while the median unit rent increased $5 per week to $330.

“If the vacancy rate continues to decline, we can expect rents to gradually increase throughout the year.”

Reiwa.com data showed East Fremantle had the biggest increase for the December quarter, up $50 to $570 per week.

Embleton followed with a $30 increase to $360 and Kingsley saw a $23 increase to $450 per week.

There were 12,435 properties leased in Perth during the December quarter, 6 per cent lower than the September quarter and 4 per cent down compared to the previous year.

“Leasing activity slowed during the December quarter, as the festive season saw less people searching for properties,” Ms Joyce said.

“This is very common at this time of year, with activity tending to decline in December before increasing again early in the New Year.”

The five suburbs to experience the biggest increase in leasing activity for the December 2019 quarter were Ocean Reef (113 per cent), Willetton (53 per cent), Applecross (50 per cent), Cottesloe (42 per cent) and Mt Lawley (38 per cent).

“Increased activity in these five suburbs closer to the end of the year suggests that tenants are taking advantage of the lower rent prices in the higher end of the market before the new school year commences, as 20 of the top 50 WA schools are located within these suburbs,” Ms Joyce said.

There were 5616 properties for rent in Perth at the end of the December quarter, 9 per cent less than the previous quarter and 18 per cent lower than the same time last year.

“The sharp decline in listings is a driving force behind why Perth’s vacancy rate has improved,” Ms Joyce said.

“With population growth in WA on the rise and fewer new-building projects commencing, rental listing stock is being absorbed more quickly.”

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