How the WA Property Market Compares to the Other States

End of January 2021

Article by REIWA with additional comments from Di Addenbrooke.



As we enter 2021 with high hopes, there are many positive signs for the Western Australian property market.

Understandably, we cannot forget that there is still a global pandemic which hit us hard last year, and our economy is still dealing with what were and still are challenging times.

For our property market, 2020 was a year where improvement occurred significantly in the second half, with low vacancy rates, increasing house prices and fast-selling days. But how does the Perth property market fare against the nation’s other capital cities as we move into 2021?



WA has been the most affordable state for housing for over three years in a row, according to REIA’s Housing Affordability Report (September 2020 quarter) which revealed that the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments in WA improved to 23.9 per cent in the September 2020 quarter and had the highest quarterly increase in the total number of loans (46 per cent).

To put that into perspective, in New South Wales, the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments was 42.3 per cent and NSW suffered the biggest decline in housing affordability over the year.

The report also revealed that WA was again the most affordable place to rent with the proportion of family income required to meet the median rent sitting at 17 per cent – substantially below East Coast markets, where rents make up as much as 29 per cent of median income.

In addition, CoreLogic data for December revealed Perth still has some of the most affordable rent and dwelling prices with Adelaide having a slightly lower median rent price and Darwin having the lowest median dwelling value.

The dream of homeownership remains far more achievable in WA, with record low-interest rates, government grants and affordable prices and this continues to be reflected in the proportion of first home buyers in the state’s owner-occupier market, which is 40.8 per cent.


Rental Market

Since COVID-19, there’s been pressure on the rental market due to the lack of supply, contributing to record low vacancy rates in WA, making it an extremely difficult time for tenants trying to secure a rental. On the flip side, this has been a fortuitous market for Investors and Landlords, with properties being leased by Pulse Property Group after only 1 viewing with multiple, quality applications and an increase in rental income (we’ve seen the increases range from $10 – $100 per week). data shows the December vacancy rate for Perth is again below one per cent, and at Pulse Property Group we have maintained a vacancy rate of 0% over the past 10+ months. To put this into perspective the Sydney vacancy rate is 3.3 per cent and in Melbourne, it’s 5.4 per cent*.

CoreLogic data for December follows a now well-established trend across all capital cities where house rents have shown a more positive trajectory than unit rents since the onset of COVID-19.

Although rent prices are surging in Perth and Darwin, prices are still substantially lower in Perth than they were during the previous peak in 2013.

On the other side of the country, rental conditions are much softer, with the Melbourne and Sydney unit markets suffering, where weak demand and high supply has driven a sharp drop in rent prices as demand falls due to the lack of overseas migration.

While tenants would rather not see rent rises, they can feel comfortable that it’s still cheaper to rent in WA than most other states and that’s likely to remain so for some period of time.


Residential Sales Market

Our housing markets were not immune to the COVID-19 economic fallout, but those house price predictions of significant falls did not eventuate, and now real estate prices around Australia are starting to lift as confidence is restored.

Despite the volatility, national home values finished on a high in 2020, with CoreLogic’s home value index rising three consecutive months in a row, following a 2.1 per cent drop during COVID-19 (April – September 2020).

If we look around the country, dwelling values in December 2020 compared to March 2020 increased in most capital cities, except for Sydney and Melbourne where longer lockdowns were experienced.

The Perth dwelling value increased one per cent since the onset of COVID-19 – a healthy figure given the dire property market we endured previously. On top of this, sales activity remained strong, and property was being snapped up at the fastest rate since 2006.

The Pulse Property Group sales team have assisted many sellers over the past 12 months with properties under offer before being advertised publicly (through our Undercover campaigns) or after only 1 open. We have met various new buyers (including investors) who are qualified and want to move into our local areas, with many missing out due to the competitive nature our campaigns are experiencing. This competition has resulted in our team negotiating higher sale prices for our sellers.


Our team are here to assist with all your real estate needs; free information (market update, property appraisal, subdivision potential etc.), property management, buying or selling, commercial real estate, property projects and developments, and so much more.


Contact us today on the details below –

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