The Perth rental market has recorded its first increase in median rents since January 2017, according to the latest report by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.
The median rent in Perth increased to $360 per week in February. This boost was made possible by the decline in vacancy rate to 2.2%, the lowest since March 2013.
"While the overall increase in median rent was up by $10 per week in February, this is a significant step in the WA property market and one we have been waiting a long time for," said REIWA President Damian Collins.
Stirling, Shenton Park, Ocean Reef, Thornlie, and Bertram were the top suburbs for rental growth during the month.
Perth's leasing activity also improved, shrinking by 9% to 28 days. This means that it takes a little less than a month for a property to be occupied.
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"As we head into March, which is usually one of the busiest months of the year for the rental market, it will be interesting to see how the market performs and if rents continue to rise, which is possible given the low vacancy rates," Collins said.
The recovery was also apparent in the sales market, where activity rose by 5%. This came with a 0.3% increase in sales price.
Kallaroo reported the biggest gain in median prices at 8.1% to $735,000. Mount Pleasant, Wannanup, Mindarie, and Woodvale were also amongst the top suburbs for price growth.
The selling time for homes in Perth remained stable at 47 days.
"After a long stretch of declines in the WA property market, it is great news that we are starting to see gradual improvements. This could be the impact from various government initiatives and the lowered interest rates by the Reserve Bank of Australia put in place last year," Collins said.
A separate analysis by CoreLogic indicates that the downturn in Perth might be finally over.
"Although Perth values are now trending higher, the recovery period is likely to be a long one, with Perth housing values remaining 21.0% below their peak," said Tim Lawless, head of research at CoreLogic Asia Pacific.