Lowest rental vacancy rates in 17 years as housing crisis continues

Sep 15, 2022 | State News, Steve Martin MLC

Tenants are continuing to struggle to find affordable rental properties in Western Australia, according to new rental vacancy rate data.

According to SQM Research, the August rental vacancy rate for Perth is 0.4% – the lowest since records began in 2005.

“Rental vacancy rates across the state have been on a steady decline and housing prices continue to sting Western Australians,” said Shadow Minister for Housing, Steve Martin MLC.

“In June 2020, the average vacancy rate in Western Australia was 2.5%. Now 26 months later, we are sitting at 0.4%.”

The expected vacancy rate of a balanced market is usually around 3.5%.

“In their attempts to secure a property, some tenants are even offering above the advertised price – up to 20% more in some cases. If this continues, even more renters will be priced out of the market.

“Renters in Western Australia are getting desperate – but there is no end in sight.

“Whatever the Government are doing, it isn’t working. They need to work harder to incentivise investors and property developers to increase our rental housing stock.

“The government should strongly consider limiting the amount of stamp duty paid by seniors who downsize, which would lead to an increase in overall housing stock.

“If more seniors move to a smaller property that is more in line with their needs without being financially penalised, we will hopefully start to see an increase in the number of family homes available – something that is severely lacking in the current market,” said Mr Martin.

“The Government need to stop talking about the housing crisis, and start taking meaningful action to fix it.”