More pain for Perth as house prices and rents fall, while vacancies rise

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Perth is yet to begin its recovery from the resource sector slowdown, with new figures from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia showing the city has been hit by another drop in house prices and weekly rents.

According to the REIWA figures, during the three months to August the median house price in Perth fell by 1.8% to $540,000 while the city’s median rent fell by $10 to $410.

REIWA president David Airey said an increase in the number of homes hitting the market has worked to bring down house prices.

“There are 31% more properties on the market than the same time last year,” Airey said.

“This is putting some downward pressure on prices as sellers adjust to changing market conditions,” he said.

The REIWA figures show the number of properties on the market in Perth rose by 2% to 13,921 over the three month period, with the Swan (+158) and Kwinana (+56) local government areas seeing the largest jumps in listings over the month.

Over the month of August, the number of transactions in the city took a hit, however there was an improvement compared to last year’s figures.

“In a good sign for turnover, sales were up by 1% in this period to 1,838 transactions,” Airey said.

“This is a dip of 12% in the month of August itself, but a healthy 6% increase on the same time last year.”

The decrease in the city’s overall median rent now means the median rent for a house in Perth is $420, while the median apartment rent is $395.

“This means that metropolitan rents have now dropped by more than 13 per cent, or around $60 per week, from 18 months ago and reflects the downturn in the mining-construction sector and resulting slowdown in the state’s rate of population growth,” Airey said.

Perth's western suburbs had the most expensive median rental price for houses at $725 per week, while Kwinana has the most affordable houses with a median rent of $380 per week.

Kwinana also has the most affordable units and villas at $275 per week, while the more expensive median for this stock was found in the southern part of Joondalup at $505 per week.

There was little good news for the city’s vacancy rate over the three-month period, with it climbing to above 5%.

According to REIWA, there are 8,504 rental properties without tenants in Perth, up by around 40% compared to this time last year.

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