Nila Sweeney

The vacancy rate for available rental properties in Perth has jumped to a 14-year high of 4.8%, preliminary data from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia has shown.

REIWA president Alan Bourke said the September quarter figure was the highest since vacancy rates peaked in December 1995.

Bourke attributed the slack vacancy rate was in part due to properties being freed up in the wake of the flurry of first time home buyer activity seen over the past nine months. He continued, "Data for dwelling commencements in the June quarter shows that nearly 1,600 new units and apartments were completed, along with 4,660 houses. Even so, there are still 16,700 dwellings currently under construction, including 5,800 units and apartments."

The overall median rent in Perth remains steady at $360 per week, although median rents for units dropped by just over 1 per cent, or $5, to $355 per week. Bourke added that the slack vacancy rate and significant numbers of newly constructed homes coming onto the market indicated that Perth did not have the type of housing shortage being experienced on the east coast. He concluded, "This is despite a 5 per cent increase in sales turnover in the September quarter, which saw the stock of listings available for sale fall below the notional equilibrium level of 12,000 properties, down to 11,200."

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