Strong leadership in closing WA borders has fuelled the eagerness of many WA people to return home to a lifestyle that is envied around the world. This, and the booming mining industry encouraging their eastern states’ workers to relocate to WA has put pressure on Perth’s rental market.
The pandemic moratorium, due to end soon, has also exacerbated the crisis as tenants who may have been moved on, are safeguarded in their homes. The tight rental market is not expected to ease for some time.
The pandemic has led to the best conditions for the West Australian economy for almost a decade. Driven by iron ore and, to a lesser extent, other mining and agricultural exports, the state recorded the strongest economic growth in Australia at the end of 2020.
Not surprisingly, this had flow-on impacts for housing. After experiencing five years of falls, house prices in WA have risen by 5% over the past 12 months. Although this is a strong result, it certainly isn’t the strongest in the country.
But what is particularly strong is the rate of growth in rents, with Perth seeing the strongest rental increases compared to other Australian capital cities over the past 12 months with rents rising 7%.
The number of rental properties available has also declined dramatically, down almost 17% compared to a year ago – the biggest drop in the country.
Perth – North West, Perth – North East and Perth – South West all saw available rental properties decline by more than 17%, while Mandurah, south of the WA capital, saw a 23.6% drop, which was the biggest in the country.