Seven suburbs from within the Perth region dominated the list of the top 10 most popular suburbs in West Australia among tenants over the past year. Those included in the roster logged lower vacancy rate and higher median rents, according to Real Estate Institute of Western Australia’s (REIWA) data.

“The list is also quite varied in terms of population. While we would expect to see suburbs with larger numbers of properties in areas like Baldivis and Canning Vale return high search volumes, a number of the suburbs on the list that ranked well have fewer than 10,000 people residing in the area,” REIWA President Damian Collins said.

The report showed, though, that areas like Mandurah, Geraldton, Bunbury, and Kalgoorlie represented a broader urban area, which has likely contributed to their popularity among WA tenants.

Mandurah, Rockingham, and Baldivis in the south of Perth are the most popular suburbs.

Geraldton and Bunbury in regional WA followed closely, completing the top five suburbs with the highest searches. Joondalup, Scarborough, Kalgoorlie, Ellenbrook and Canning Vale, meanwhile, sealed the list.

The report also found that nine of the 10 suburbs on the list recorded drops in the number of properties available for rent in their respective areas over 2018. Mandurah, Canning Vale, and Bunbury posted the most substantial declines.

“When there is increased interest in a suburb and fewer rentals available, this leads to stronger competition between tenants. While overall rent prices in Perth have been stable for a while now, there are some pockets that are starting to see prices rise,” Collins said.

Baldivis, Geraldton, Scarborough and Canning Vale also experienced increases in median rent over the last year, with their rent prices climbing by $10, $5, $18 and, $10 respectively.

Landlords also found it faster to find tenants in these areas, with data showing that nine of the 10 suburbs recorded a rise in their average leasing times during the last year.

Canning Vale (39 days) and Joondalup (45 days) had the most notable drop in leasing times— both down by 11 days in 201. Baldivis (41 days), Geraldton (57 days) and Scarborough (39 days) followed closely, — each of them down by 10 days. Bunbury, meanwhile, was the only area on the list to not record an improvement in average leasing time.

“These 10 areas clearly hold a lot of appeal for West Aussie tenants. If you’re an investor looking to buy, I’d recommend speaking to a real estate agent about how these local markets are performing and what investment opportunities are available,” Collins said.