Perth vacancy rate hits new low

11 April 2024

"Perth’s vacancy rate dropped to a record low of 0.4 per cent in March, according to REIWA."

Perth’s vacancy rate dropped to a record low of 0.4 per cent in March, according to REIWA.

The previous record was 0.6 per cent, set in December 2022.

The vacancy rate rose to 0.7 per cent in January 2023 and remained there for most of 2023 and into 2024.

Despite the decline, REIWA President Joe White said there were some signs the market may be easing.

“Some of our members are reporting there has been a slowdown in demand for the higher end of the market. And we can see this in data, which shows homes priced over $1,000 per week took a median of 20 days to lease in the March quarter.

“Homes priced under $1,000 took a median of 15 days to lease. And in some suburbs with a median dwelling rent below the current Perth median of $649, homes leased in 10 – 11 days over the quarter.

“Demand remains strong in the more affordable prices brackets. While in the mid-range, members are reporting numbers at home opens are declining in some suburbs, however they are still receiving multiple applications.

Mr White said affordability was an issue for many tenants and this could be one factor driving the change in demand.

“We have previously said there may be some self-adjustment in demand as tenants seek to cope with the dual challenges of rising prices and low supply,” he said.

“This includes an increase in tenant household sizes or tenants electing to buy, which we are seeing, and people simply choosing to stay in the family home longer or moving back in with family to avoid the rental market.

“It’s something investors need to be aware of – they may need to show some price flexibility in order to secure a good tenant. They need to have that conversation with their property manager and listen to the feedback.”

Mr White said supply remained an issue in the rental market, but members were reporting increasing supply in some suburbs.

“The key to ending the rental crisis is new supply, and some members are reporting newly built homes owned by Eastern States investors are finally coming to the market. This is predominantly in outer-lying suburbs where there has been land to develop,” he said.

“This is good news, but we still have a long way to go before we can confirm the market has changed and we see a return to a balanced market.”

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