Rents coming down

by Administrator 28. October 2013 07:33

Current data from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia is showing that the metropolitan rental market is easing with many owners having to adjust rents to meet changed conditions.

The vacancy rate has lifted from a tight 1.9 per cent at the end of last year to around 3.1 per cent in September with current listings sitting at 3,850 dwellings.

This is 80 per cent more stock than the same time last year and much of it is being driven by tenants leaving their rental to buy a home of their own.

REIWA data show the overall median rent dropped by $5 to $470 per week, however, results are patchy across Perth and some falls were greater than others.

Median rents have come down by $10 per week in the Bayswater and Bassendean areas, $15 in Fremantle, $22 in Melville, $30 in the City of Perth, $25 through South Perth and Victoria Park, $20 in Vincent, $25 across the western suburbs, $23 in Mundaring, $20 in northwest Wanneroo, $10 through northeast and southern Wanneroo, $10 in Cockburn and also $10 in Rockingham.

Typically people are now paying around $475 for a house, down by $5 on the June quarter, or $450 for a flat, unit, apartment or villa, which is down by $10.

Around 65 per cent of vacant rental properties are broadly within a 10km radius of the CBD and this central region of Perth has experienced a decrease in rental listings during the September quarter.

Despite this overall fall in the number of available rental homes, some sub-markets such as Bassendean- Bayswater, Belmont and South Perth-Victoria Park saw increases of between 5 and 16 per cent for the quarter.

While in the eastern part of the City of Stirling, places like Joondanna, Yokine and Tuart Hill saw an increase of listings of around 5 per cent.

I caution tenants against breaking their fixed term lease to find a better or cheaper property in the current market. Costs associated with breaking a lease could outweigh the benefits.

Tenants should talk with their property manager if they are thinking of a break-lease and do the sums before making a decision.

Equally, it’s important for owners to understand that conditions have changed and they need to adjust their expectations of rental return by talking to their property manager to set the right price.

This article was originally published on


Did you know ??

by Administrator 20. October 2013 17:31

Did you know that the first post and telegraph office in South Perth operated out of a room at the foot of the stairs in the Windsor Hotel?

The office began operating on 7 November 1898 (the same day that the Windsor officially opened for trade) and continuted to operate until the Post Office on the corner of Mends Street and Mill Point Road was constructed in 1900.





Be Strategic when buying a Holiday Home

by Administrator 14. October 2013 00:08

Many people reading this column might be relaxing at a beachside getaway, a wine region in the Southwest, a great fishing spot in the Kimberly or perhaps in a heritage town in the wheat belt.

Over summer many people will be enjoying the state’s delightful holiday spots, particularly along the coast. Places like Dunsborough, Denmark, Dongara, Lancelin, Cervantes, Albany and beyond. Over the years many people have bought holiday homes in these places.

Today, holiday homes are being purchased as far apart as Exmouth and Esperance. It all depends on people’s budget, allowable travel time and their strategy behind the purchase.

The ideal holiday home for most people is one that is always available for short stays, but this is a costly option for people who need to take out a mortgage on a second home. They are not the inexpensive country option they once were, particularly on the coast.

However, these days an increasing number of buyers are choosing to combine the purchase of a holiday home with long term investment plans. This is possible because many favoured holiday locations have developed viable rental markets with local tenants leasing properties for extended periods, often beyond the summer holiday.

Some of these places might include Albany, Harvey, Busselton, Margaret River, Gin Gin, York  and Cervantes, for example.

Homes initially purchased as investments in these locations can later be used for holiday purposes.

In places where demand for rental accommodation is seasonal, such as fishing towns, windsurfing spots and agricultural areas, there is a greater likelihood of vacancies for rental properties outside the peak holiday or industry period. However, the rentals are normally much higher in properties leased for short periods and this can partly offset the loss of rental income when the place is vacant.

The benefit of this strategy is that the owner can then take advantage of the seasonal rental market by using the property off season.

Another option for holiday homebuyers is to purchase a unit in a resort development. Some resort operators will guarantee a rental income for a fixed period. In many cases the purchaser is acquiring a share of a managed investment scheme, which includes a stake in the total income and expenses incurred by the resort.

Either way, the most important consideration when buying a holiday home is, as far as possible, to set aside the emotional reactions and approach the purchase with a clear understanding of the real value of the property, its ongoing costs and the likely rental income.

If you are travelling around the state this holiday season and maybe thinking of a holiday home investment, why not drop into the nearest REIWA agency office and talk to the staff about opportunities?

This article was originally published on


What adds most to a home ?

by Administrator 7. October 2013 05:56

When it comes to estimating the market value of property the building and its design features are the main variables. By contrast land value is relatively easy to estimate.

The old adage that “there’s a buyer for every property”, is true, but it depends on price. Some properties, however, contain popular building and design features making the estimation easier.

As a general guide, here’s an explanation of contemporary attitudes to WA homes and how they contribute to property values.

Bedrooms: the number of bedrooms remains the most common way to describe a property. Over the last 50 years the number of bedrooms in the typical home has grown from two to four but the average household size has decreased.

Many homes today are occupied only by one or two people.

Regardless of this shrinking household size the desire for larger homes remains strong and the market tends to put higher values on four bedroom houses and three bedroom apartments. Extra bedrooms offer flexible lifestyle options such as a home office or guest room.

Bathroom: the number of bathrooms and toilets is second only to the number of bedrooms when it comes to buyer interest. The market values a second bathroom and toilet or ensuites very highly due to the convenience and privacy they offer. Particularly where a home is shared with adult children or leased to sharing tenants.

Storage: this is an underrated influence on value. We are living in smaller households but accumulating more possessions. Homes with plenty of storage space are likely to be more valued. Spare bedrooms can also be regarded as storage space.

Theatre room: the common ‘games room’ of the 1970’s and 80’s has given way to home theatre. Flat screen TV’s with surround sound units and comfy chairs demand their own space, although I wonder if the trend towards watching entertainment online either at a PC or with mobile tablets may change this trend in future?

Car space: secure car accommodation is important but doesn’t rate as highly as living areas.

Kitchen: popular TV shows about cooking illustrate Australia’s love of entertaining at home or just preparing sumptuous meals. A well designed, functional and spacious kitchen with quality draws and cupboards, bench tops and appliances is an increasing priority for home buyers.

Al fresco area: our climate is ideal for covered and protected areas that open to a courtyard or garden. Whether it’s a simple social space with a modest outdoor setting or a classy BBQ area with a cedar paneled patio, a functional and sheltered setting in the outdoors which expands the living area of the home and utilises the garden can be a great bonus.

Together, these factors add the most value and ‘wow’ factor to a home.

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