PERTH rents plummeted 8.6 per cent over the past year, contributing to the largest annual decline on record for the nation, new Corelogic data shows.
The June rental report showed weekly rents for the capital cities fell 0.6 per cent on last year – the greatest drop since records started in 1996 – on the back of slowing population growth, high levels of new housing construction and soft wages growth.
Nationally, Darwin recorded the largest slump in rents of 16.2 per cent, while Brisbane and Adelaide figures fell slightly.
There were small rent rises in Sydney (albeit its weakest growth on record), Melbourne and Canberra, with Hobart reporting the strongest growth of 4.6 per cent.
The median weekly rent for the capital cities is $484, with Perth at $431.
Corelogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said the rental market weakness would continue.
“With housing supply, and subsequently rental supply, continuing to rise as growth in wages and the population continues to slow, it is unlikely we will see a turnaround in rental markets in the short-term,” he said.
“As a result, renters will continue to have more choice and may actually be able to move into superior rental accommodation for similar or even lower costs.
“Lower rents may also act as a disincentive for first-homebuyers to enter into home ownership as they may be able to save more for a future deposit.”
Locally, William Porteous Properties International property manager Joseph Rooney said rents in the western suburbs had fallen over the past year and he expected the reductions to continue.
“The falls have been across the board,” he said.
“Certain segments of the market, such as new apartments, have further to go than others, but the market as a whole will fall further.”
Tenants were seeking good value and small, cheap two-bedroom apartments or reasonably priced older homes in suburbs such as Dalkeith, where people wished to stay in a good school catchment but not break the bank rent-wise, were in demand.
To help ensure vacancies filled quickly, Mr Rooney suggested investors make sure their properties presented well.
“They should also consider upgrades, such as airconditioning, and meet the market price-wise,” he said. n