The latest property report by Domain shows house rent prices in Perth have increased for the ninth consecutive quarter, with unit rents rising for the sixth quarter in a row.
In the past year, house rents in Perth have grown 17 per cent, and units have risen by 18 per cent, to reach record levels.
The median rent for houses in Perth is now $620 a week, while the median rent for units is $520.
Domain chief of research and economics Nicola Powell described the situation as “very much a landlord’s market”.
“It is the most competitive rental market out of all of our capital cities, jointly with Adelaide,” she told ABC Radio Perth.
“Both of these cities … [have a] measly vacancy rate, it’s stubbornly low at 0.4 per cent.”
Pain for Rivervale household
Margaret River father Bernard Shanahan said his 28-year-old son, who lives in a share house in Rivervale in Perth, was just given notice of a $250 increase in his weekly rent.
“They got a notice Tuesday evening saying ‘look, we’re very happy with the tenancy and would like to offer you a fixed lease extension’,” Mr Shanahan said.
“‘We’re offering you a 12-month extension with a $250 rent increase, which equals new rent of $800 per week.’
“And then it says down the bottom again, ‘thank you for being great tenants’.”
Mr Shanahan said it likely meant his son would have to leave the city and move back to regional WA to live with family.
“He’s going to have to come home … he just wants somewhere to live, you know, where he can be independent,” he said.
Housing demand surging
Regional areas also saw a huge bump in rental pricing in the past year.
Dr Powell said Perth – and Western Australia more broadly – had unique factors that contributed to an exceptionally tight rental market.
“In terms of what’s creating this, obviously lack of supply, but it is [also] demographic trends,” she said.
“WA’s got positive net interstate migration, which is a turnaround from the multiple years that it was into the negative, and it’s also got stronger or elevated levels of overseas migration also.”
Domain’s report highlighted perilous conditions for renters across 2023, but pointed to a glimmer of hope, noting rental prices were beginning to stagnate in some jurisdictions.