It’s an area that has seen little in the way of good news in recent times, but the December 2015 quarter was one of resiliency for the majority of rental markets in regional Western Australia.

According to figures from the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIWA), only two rental markets in the state’s regional areas saw a decline in median weekly asking rents over the quarter, with the median weekly rent across all regional WA increasing by $20 to $380.

“All but two regional centres increased or remained stable in their median rent price over the quarter. Albany urban area was a top performer in the December quarter with its median lifting $10 a week, followed by Esperance urban area which lifted $7 over the quarter,” REIWA president Hayden Groves said.  

“Port Hedland had the biggest decline in price, with its median rent coming in at $485 per week, while Karratha urban area was something of an anomaly in the regional market due to a small sample of new rentals skewing the data,” Groves said.

Source: REIWA

Groves said an increase in properties leased and decrease in the average time it takes to lease a property over the three-month period also bode well for regional rental markets.

“Regional WA experienced improvements in both of these areas with the number of leased properties increasing by 7% and the average time to lease coming in at 50 days - one day quicker than in the September quarter,” he said.

Busselton and Esperance had the biggest improvement in time to lease with investors on average securing a tenant 10 days quicker than they did in the September quarter. 

According to Groves there were 3,245 properties available to rent in regional WA as of 31 December 2015, and an increase in rental listings over January and February is seasonal shift.

“Our most recent data shows listings have trended up slightly since that time coming in at 3,356 as at 16 February, however a minor increase is not unusual following the Christmas and New Year period. 

“While prices have increased in some areas of regional WA, the private rental market is still very much affordable for tenants and there is a good amount of stock available to choose from.” 

Source: REIWA