The Perth rental market continues to ease as vacancy rates rise, providing more choice for tenants.
The monthly total home vacancy rate increased from 3.3 per cent to 3.4 per cent last month – the highest rate of all the capitals.
The vacancy rate for Perth houses increased from 3.1 per cent to 3.2 per cent over the month to be well ahead of the next highest capital city of Brisbane at 2.5 per cent.
Vacancy rates for units, however, tightened slightly over the month, falling from 4.1 per cent to 4 per cent –behind only Darwin at 4.6 per cent.
Other capital city rental markets have generally tightened over August, with already low vacancy rates falling further.
Most capital city rental markets now report tight vacancy rates well below 2 per cent for houses, with Hobart and Canberra the lowest at 1.1 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively.
Rental vacancies for units, however, are generally higher than houses with Canberra reporting a sharp rise over the month to 3.9 per cent, reflecting recent relatively high levels of new apartment development.
Declining activity from the resources sector in Western Australia has reduced demand for rental properties in Perth, particularly from interstate jobseekers, with vacancy rates climbing steeply over the past year.
This is putting downward pressure on rental growth, which will be welcomed by local tenants following sharp rises in rents in recent years.
Some signs of improvement in the local Western Australia will also be welcomed with the ABS reporting a fall in the state unemployment rate.
The seasonally adjusted jobless rate over August was 6.1 per cent – down sharply from the 12-year high 6.4 per cent reported over July.
The latest rate however remains well above the 5 per cent recorded over August last year.
On a positive note, the workforce increased by 22,100 over the past year and the participation rate has increased from 68 per cent to 69 per cent over the same period.