by LISA CALAUTTI
The Real Estate Institute of WA has dismissed reports Perth is on track to become the most expensive capital city in the country for tenants.
Institute president David Airey has played down an Australian Property Monitors report that said Perth’s rental market was tight, with current median weekly rents for houses at $490 a week, closing in on Sydney’s $500 a week.
The report said Perth was the only capital city to record growth in rents during the June quarter.
“REIWA data shows there are now 4200 rental properties on the market, which is a significant jump in recent times,” Mr Airey said.
“We have gone from a tight vacancy rate of just 1.9 per cent in December to 3.2 per cent and that puts us above the long-term average with stock levels.
“Data for the three months to May put the Perth median rent at $475 per week. This was up by just $5 on the March quarter and was generated solely by a modest increase for units and apartments alone – house rents didn’t move.”
Mr Airey said agents were reporting a big drop in the number of inquiries for rental accommodation and the long queues of prospective tenants at home opens had gone.
Valuer Gavin Hegney said with a vacancy rate of 3.2 per cent, tenants should be confident rents would not rise in the next 12 months.
Urban Development Institute of Australia chief executive Debra Goostrey said rents were a simple equation of supply and demand and in the short term, demand for rentals should ease throughout the second half of the year.
Acton general manager Craig Wildman said the Perth rental market was varied and tenants and owners needed to be wary about general comments about the state of market that painted an unrealistic picture.
“The feeling is that the market has slowed in some areas, particularly for higher-end and premium properties,” Mr Wildman said.
“The slowdown in the mining sector has seen demand fall for executive style rentals.
“Vacancies are taking longer to fill and rents are falling.”