After experiencing years of a decline in housing market activity, Australian cities Darwin and Perth are now the busiest they have been since the mining boom of 2003-2013.
According to real estate sources, demand for rentals in Darwin and Perth increased significantly due to the return of many overseas Australians since the start of the pandemic. In these owner-occupied markets with low levels of investor participation, rental supply remains low and struggles to meet the rising demand. Both cities are facing very tight rental conditions with extremely low vacancy rates.
The Northern Territory avoided lockdown with a low number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and Darwin is deemed a desirable and safe place to live. In addition, the growing remote working trend has made it possible for people to move to another state easily without the hassle of searching for a new job in a new environment. As such, many Australians from other states have moved to Darwin in the pursuit of a better lifestyle.
In Western Australia, part of the growing demand in Perth comes from the mining industry. Faced with COVID-19 and interstate quarantine rules, the WA government incentivized Eastern States-based FIFO workers to relocate to WA permanently, so they can stay in WA between shifts instead of flying back home. This significantly increased the demand for rental units in Perth.
Unlike tenants in NT, tenants in WA are protected by the moratorium implemented by the government on some evictions and all rent increases over the past year. However, the moratorium will be lifted at the end of March and ordinary tenancy laws will apply again. Many believe March 29 is a critical point and expect it to be followed by evictions and rent increases.
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