Preliminary data by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia for its January survey shows the quarterly vacancy rate for the three months to January sitting at 2.5 per cent. This is the same rate as the revised figure for the December quarter of last year. REIWA President David Airey said any talk of a rental crisis in Perth was exaggerated. “The percentage of metropolitan rental properties available for lease was unchanged over the three month period as a whole, but did fluctuate a little for each calendar month. “We did see the vacancy rate in December lift a bit to 2.8 per cent but this has subsequently fallen to 2.3 per cent for the month of January. “The more notable feature is an 18 per cent fall in the number of properties available for lease which dropped from 2,800 at the end of December to 2,300 in mid-February,” Mr Airey said. Median rents in the three months to January remained unchanged from the December quarter, with units and villas renting for around $380 per week and houses renting for about $420 per week. Mr Airey said it was possible the vacancy rate might tighten further during this quarter, but the situation was nothing like the March quarter of 2007 which saw the vacancy rate plummet to just 0.8 per cent.