It wasn’t that long ago, during the peak in 2014, where there were literally hundreds of people lining up for a rental property and the median rent was as high as $450 per week. While the Western Australian property market is not performing as it was during this peak time, the rental market has shown signs of improvement suggesting we are in the early stages of a recovery. Latest rental dataPerth’s vacancy rate is currently 2.2 per cent which is the lowest it has been since March 2013. Agents on the ground reporting rental inspections are gaining more popularity, including over 50 people attending at a single property. There were 5,374 properties listed for rent on reiwa.com in February which is 18.2 per cent less than one year ago. With rental properties in high demand, we have seen the first increase in Perth’s median weekly rent in over three years to now sit at $360 per week. Why are we seeing thisOne of the reasons we can be seeing this is because the construction of new homes has slowed significantly since 2016. This combined with fewer investors active in the Perth market there are less properties available to rent, which creates competition amongst tenants to secure to a rental. Despite the reduction in rental stock over the last year, over that time WA has remained the most affordable state or territory to rent, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia’s Housing Affordability Report. Housing Affordability ReportThe report explains that the typical proportion of family income required to meet median weekly rent for a three bedroom house is sitting at 16.7 per cent in WA, which is only 0.1 per cent more than it was a year ago. - compare this with the national average which is currently 23.6 per cent. Breaking it down by some the other states/territories, New South Wales is sitting at 27.4 per cent, Victoria is at 22.6 per cent and South Australia which is sitting at 22.3 per cent. While WA does have a unique market compared to the east coast, we can expect to see rental affordability start to rise in upcoming editions of the report, due to changes we are seeing in the rental market. More informationIf you are a landlord or tenant unsure about changes within the rental market, have a chat to your local REIWA agent who can provide you with the latest information. Looking for the latest rental advice? Check out our feature articles for rentals, including our essential renting guide.