The Perth rental market recorded improvements in median unit rent price and leasing activity in January, according to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.

“It’s pleasing to see more confirmation of a recovery in the January findings. Leasing volumes recorded the most notable improvement, enjoying a welcome rebound in tenant activity during the month - a trend we commonly observe this time of year,” REIWA Deputy President Lisa Joyce said.

Data from REIWA showed that a total of 5,197 rental properties were leased in the city during the period, marking an increase of 46% compared to December.

Out of the 119 suburbs that posted an increase in leasing activity, Claremont, Mosman Park, East Fremantle, Westminster and Nedlands were named the biggest improvers.

Suburbs such as Mount Lawley, Ballajura, Forrestfield, Joondana and Yanchep also reported positive results.

Perth’s overall median rent remained at $350 per week in January, while the unit rent increased $5 to $330 per week during the month and is up $10 per week compared to the same time last year.

The median house rent was unchanged at $360 per week. Year-over-year, it rose $10 per week.

Despite Perth’s steady median rent, 58 suburbs recorded lifts. These include Bullsbrook, Bull Creek, Attadale, Applecross and Greenfields, which were also the top performers in the category.

The increase in leasing activity resulted in reduced listings for rent. Stock levels slid 2% month over month to 6,732 by the end of January. Listings were down by 27% year over year.

“With fewer listings and increased activity levels, competition amongst Perth tenants is rapidly increasing. If the rental market continues on its current upward trajectory, median rents should start to rise in the coming months, which will help entice investors back to the market,” Joyce said.

REIWA also found that Perth’s median house price declined 1% to $505,000 in January. House sales increased 6.4% to 1,374 during the month, while listings for sale dropped 3.2%.

“Perth remains very favourable for buyers and investors; however, I would advise those who are thinking about purchasing their first home, trading up or investing, to act soon and take advantage of current conditions before the market starts to recover and prices inevitably rise,” Joyce said.