Perth’s rental market showed signs of life with leasing volumes rising 9% in the city during the March quarter, according to Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA).

Data from the industry group revealed that nearly all key market indicators improved during the period, causing the Perth vacancy rate to drop to 2.5%.

“This is the lowest quarterly vacancy rate we’ve seen since the March 2013 quarter, putting the Perth rental market in favour of landlords,” said REIWA President Damian Collins.

There were 14,003 properties leased in Perth during the quarter—up from 12,870 in the December quarter.

Leasing volumes in 42% of suburbs in the Perth region increased, with Kingsley, Swanbourne, Pearsall, Queens Park, and Dalkeith recording the most significant growth in activity levels, according to analysis.

Mosman Park, Falcon, Floreat, Carramar, and Stirling also performed well. “Seven of the 10 suburbs that saw the biggest increase in leasing activity had a median rent price above the overall Perth rent of $350, with four of those 10 located in the Western Suburbs, suggesting there is particularly strong demand for rentals in Perth’s more affluent suburbs,” Collins said.

REIWA also found that Perth’s overall median rent price held at $350 per week for the ninth consecutive quarter.

While overall rents are stable on both a quarterly and annual basis, the median house ($360 per week) and unit ($330 per week) rents are both up $10 per week compared to the same period last year.

“ analysis also shows there were more units leased this quarter than last, which suggests the composition of leased stock is impacting price movement in the overall market,” Collins said.

In addition, REIWA said that 29% of suburbs in the Perth region logged a rise in rents during the quarter, while 36 % of suburbs recorded increases over the last year.

Subiaco, Inglewood, Safety Bay, Wannanup and Embleton posted the biggest growth in median rent price during the quarter. Shenton Park, Attadale, Wembley Downs, Embleton, and Dudley Park, meanwhile, recorded the biggest annual increase in rent, percentage-wise.

“If rental market conditions continue on its current upward trajectory, which we expect it to, it’s only a matter of time before we start to see Perth’s overall median rent rise,” Collins said.

There were 6,738 properties listed for rent in the market —down 2% compared to the December quarter and down 25% year-over-year.

“We’ve seen a significant decline in rental listings over the last 12 months, which has played a key role in the rental market transitioning in favour of landlords. With less stock available and increased activity, there is more competition amongst tenants to secure their preferred rental,” Collins said.

It took an average of 42 days for Perth landlords to find a tenant for their rental property during the March quarter.