Fresh figures from REIWA show that in the three months to February metropolitan rents increased by 4.4 per cent, lifting the overall median from $450 to $470 per week, and representing a rise of $60 on the same time last year.
Since January houses have risen by $10 to a median of $480 per week, while units, apartments and villas jumped by $30 to a median of $450 per week.
REIWA President David Airey said the sharp rises through January and February were surprising because rental demand during the March quarter had been more subdued when compared with the March quarters for the previous five years.
“The vacancy rate has actually eased off a little, lifting from 1.9 per cent in December to 2 per cent currently, so it’s unusual to see rents going up at the same time as supply has improved,” Mr Airey said.
Mr Airey said that while the vacancy rate had increased it was still around one third below Perth’s long term equilibrium of 3 per cent.
“What the data might be indicating is that while there is a bit more stock around to choose from and demand from tenants has slowed, they are none the less choosing to pay a premium for those homes that are of better quality and in more preferred locations,” Mr Airey said.
Throughout January and February the number of listings for rentals dropped noticeably in the western suburbs, the western parts of the City of Stirling and in Bassendean/Bayswater region. In contrast, listings rose more strongly in the Cities of Belmont, Wanneroo, Perth and Canning.