Renters in Perth are battling a housing crisis as rental prices rise faster than any other capital city and vacancy rates fall.
Shelter WA said advertised rents rose 19 per cent last year and four per cent in the 12 weeks to September 12.
Perth also has the lowest vacancy rate of the capital cities at 0.4 per cent, while the Western Australia region also saw some of the country’s biggest rent increases.
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Shelter WA chief executive Kath Snell said tenants were being “shocked by some of the biggest rent increases in the country”.
“From Bunbury to Broome and beyond, the housing crisis is hitting Western Australians hard,” she said on Tuesday.
Two regions in Western Australia are among the top 10 areas of Australia with the highest rent increases over the past year: the Goldfields saw a 30.8 per cent rise, while rents in the Midwest and Wheatbelt rose 24.4 per cent.
Snell said skyrocketing rents, low vacancy rates and unprecedented demand for homeless services stem from a chronic shortage of affordable housing.
Over the past three months, rents in Sydney and Melbourne rose by 0.9 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively, while in Brisbane they rose by 2.3 per cent.
In Adelaide and Darwin, rents rose by 1.2 and 1.1 per cent respectively, while in Canberra and Hobart the average rental price fell by 2.4 and 2.8 per cent respectively.
Urban Development Institute of Australia chief executive Tanya Steinbeck said WA needed 20,000 more homes to meet expected housing demand over the next three years.
“State and federal governments play a critical role in supporting and facilitating critical partnerships to provide much-needed housing,” she said.
The WA Government has invited community housing providers to submit applications for grants, land leases and land contributions to boost social housing in the state.
In addition, work is underway to simplify the application process for construction projects to make it easier for community housing providers to implement social and affordable housing projects.
It is part of the Cook government’s $2.6 billion investment in social housing and homelessness measures announced in May, which has so far resulted in more than 1,500 social homes, with a further 1,000 under contract or under construction.
The average weekly asking price for rental was $644 in Perth and Canberra, $597 in Melbourne, $793 in Sydney, $626 in Brisbane, $532 in Adelaide, $489 in Hobart and $576 in Darwin.