Competition for Perth rentals heats up as vacancy rates fall

More than 15 people on average are vying for rental properties in WA, according to Andrew Graham of Rental Management Australia

Competition for rental properties across Perth is heating up with some tenants offering above the listed price in a further sign that the city’s rental market is bouncing back.

Data released by REIWA last week showed a 26 per cent increase in leasing activity in January, with 1,113 properties rented across Perth last week alone.

At the same time, the Perth vacancy rate – which sits at 2.2 per cent – continues to fall, with more than 1,000 fewer properties for rent than at the same time last year.

At a Glance:

  • 26 per cent increase in leasing activity in January, with 1,113 properties rented across Perth
  • Perth vacancy rate sits at 2.2 per cent
  • 1,000 fewer properties for rent than at the same time last year

Rental Management Australia (RMA) CEO, Andrew Graham, said his Leasing Executives were reporting upwards of 15 people on average through RMA properties across the four Western Australian offices, whereas in recent years that number was “closer to two or three”.

“On the ground we’re seeing really significant interest among tenants, which supports what the data says about the market’s recovery,” he said.

“January and February are traditionally busy periods in terms of leasing activity, but 2020 has been far busier than years gone by.

“Last weekend alone we had over 100 people through our home opens across Perth, and we’ve heard of some people offering in certain areas $50 above the listed price in order to secure their preferred home.

“There’s no doubt that the market is showing signs of balancing out and for tenants that obviously means increased competition.

“For landlords who’ve seen returns fall in recent years, it’s certainly welcome news.”

Rental Management Australia, which operates nationally with four WA offices in Bunbury, Joondalup, Port Kennedy and South Perth, leased over 100 properties in January alone and currently has a rental vacancy rate of just under 2 per cent.

“All the signs in terms of jobs growth, leasing activity and vacancy rates suggest that higher yields are just around the corner,” said Mr Graham.

“Despite optimism returning to the market, the flow-on effect can take some time and I think that we are still a few months away from rents showing meaningful signs of growth – but we are definitely moving in the right direction.

“The mood among agents at the moment is certainly one of optimism and I think that if the broader state economy stays the course 2020 may be the bounce that the market’s been searching for.”

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