The Australian property boom has shifted from east to west, with buyers and renters tussling for a limited number of Perth homes and creating a housing crisis for those left behind.
Perth has become the hottest selling market among state capitals, with homes listed for a median 11 days before being sold, according to CoreLogic data calculated for Guardian Australia.
That was 10 days less than the next fastest-selling state capital – Brisbane – highlighting the gulf between Perth and the rest of the country.
CoreLogic’s research director, Tim Lawless, said buyers were probably feeling a sense of urgency given they had little choice or ability to negotiate in Perth.
“The figures indicate a housing market that is skewed well towards sellers rather than buyers,” Lawless said.
Across all state capitals in the December quarter, the median number of days that properties spent on the market was 27.
Renters in the Western Australian capital were also under intense pressure, with Perth tenants now entering their fourth consecutive year of historically low stock, which has been pushing rents higher. Perth has the tightest capital city rental market in the country, with vacancies at 0.4%, according to SQM Research.
Mandy Dehnel, who supports a team of financial counsellors at The Salvation Army, said the crisis was so extreme that even people with good incomes were struggling to find suitable housing.
“There are horror stories of rentals which aren’t really rentals because they are more like overcrowded boarding situations,” said Dehnel, the Moneycare manager for Western Australia.
“People are also too afraid to make complaints in case it puts their tenancy at risk.”
The tightness in the Perth property market, which is also evident in regional areas, comes after a relatively subdued period when price growth failed to keep pace with the sharp rises recorded in other major cities, led by Sydney and