End of rental moratorium a necessary step for WA rental market

REIWAwelcomes theemergency period for theResidential Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Act 2020endingonSunday28 Marchas promisedand believes it is anecessary stepto help fix Western Australias rental shortage.

REIWA President Damian Collins said the decisionby the WA Governmentto extend the moratorium on evictions and rent price increasesin September 2020had had a debilitating effect on thestatesrental market.

Sincethe announcement inSeptember,the Perthvacancy ratehasdroppedbelow one per cent- the lowest level weve seen in 40 years.There is very littleavailablerental stock on the market andthose people who are actively looking for somewhere to rent are finding it very difficult tosecurea place to live.

Thankfully,once the moratorium endsinvestors will have more incentiveto buy property in WA. Thisshouldincrease the number of properties availableto rentandhelpcreate a more balanced market, Mr Collins said.

In the last year,reiwa.com data showsthePerth median weekly rent price has increased from $360in February 2020to $400in February 2021.

From Sunday, property investors will be able to increase rent prices for the first time in 12 monthsto reflect the changes that have occurredin the marketover the last year.We encourageowners and tenants tobe reasonable in rent negotiations and tospeakwith your property managersabout what is a fairoutcome for both parties, Mr Collins said.

Whilst it is inevitable prices will rise, WA tenants are still paying a lot less overall than their counterparts around the country. In fact, earlier this month the Real Estate Institute of Australia released their December 2020 quarter Housing Affordability Report which revealed WA remained the most affordable place to rent in the country, despite the state experiencing a rental shortage and record low vacancy rates.

“Moving forward, we need to encourage investor activity in WA. It is continuously overlooked how important property investors are to maintaining a healthy, affordable and balanced rental market.

Now that the emergency period is officially coming to an end, investors will be more inclined to buy property in WA again which will help increase housing supply for tenants.

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