Is now the time to invest in Perth?

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April 2012

New data suggests that Perth’s rental market is staging something of a comeback, while claims are coming in that buying activity is slowly improving.

The median rent in metropolitan Perth increased by 10% over the last year, according to new data from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA), as the city’s residential vacancy rate stabilises at less than 2%.

Preliminary data for the March quarter of 2012 from the REIWA show that rents rose by $5 per week for a house and $20 per week for a grouped dwelling which, according to REIWA president David Airey, “represents a rent increase of 10% on the same time last year”.

“The overall median rent for Perth is now $420 per week, which breaks down to $425 for a house or $400 for a unit, villa or townhouse,” he said.

The residential vacancy rate in the Perth metro area came out at 1.9% for the quarter, but 1.6% for the months of February and March, contributing to the upward shift in city rents, but before you jump into the Perth market it’s worth noting that increasing rental stock numbers may affect next quarter’s figures.

“REIWA data show that the stock level for rental accommodation has improved by 12% since the start of March, in sharp contrast to the 28% fall during January and February,” said Airey.

He added that demand for rental accommodation remains reasonable, but there won’t be a return to the rental crisis seen during the March quarter of 2007, which saw long queues of hopeful applicants competing for the city’s rental stock.

“As the market slowly improves more people are deciding to buy a place of their own and investors are now contributing more to the housing stock as well,” he said. “I think it’s safe to say that the rental market should balance out for the remainder of the year.”

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