Article by Russell Quinn, PerthNow, February 15th 2012
THE rental squeeze in Perth continues with the number of properties available for lease falling almost 20 per cent in the past two months.
The head of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia believes recent data suggests rents are steady in Perth and that talk of rental crisis was exaggerated.
But the availability of suitable rental accommodation across Perth has fallen dramatically with 500 dwellings coming off the rental roll.
“The more notable feature is an 18 per cent fall in the number of properties available for lease from 2,800 at the end of December to 2,300 in mid February,” REIWA president David Airey said.
Preliminary data from REIWA’s January survey show the quarterly vacancy rate for the three months to January sitting at 2.5 per cent, the same rate as the revised figure for the December quarter of last year.
“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,” Mr Airey added.
“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.”
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 that 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.