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Australia: High demand for student accommodation in Perth

clock iconCreated At:28 May, 2023
write iconCreated By:Passant Mohamed

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Perth's rental vacancy rates have reached record lows, so university students studying in Western Australia have been advised to start looking for housing even before the first semester concludes.

Students' difficulty finding housing has led to proposals for more purpose-built student accommodation to be built in Perth to meet the arising issue.

Accommodation that are purposely designed for students by private developers are becoming more popular around the country. The Student Accommodation Council stated that it currently has 76,500 beds across Australia. 

However, only 4,200 of those beds are available in WA. Torie Brown, executive director of the council, stated that this amounted to one bed for every 27 students.

“This is not a great ratio. If you look at Adelaide, a capital city comparable to Perth, there is one bed for every 14 students,” she said.

“Perth has other options for students, but purpose-built accommodation is unique because it guarantees no rental increases and is all-inclusive of bills, which makes it a more affordable and stable option for students.”

She said that it also kept those students out of the rental market rat race, as Perth's vacancy rate fell to 0.4%, the lowest in the country.

“It stops students having to compete with families and full-time workers also looking for housing, and opens up more opportunities for those people too,” she said.

“With limited options we are calling on students to inquire about any spots that may open up as people graduate as soon as possible.

“There is an undersupply in Perth and many will miss out. What we are really hoping for is the state government to include student-specific builds in their build-to-rent incentive announced in the state budget.”

The incentive provides a 50 per cent reduction in land tax, and was included in the budget in an aim to boost future housing supply.

Brown stated that ensuring students' needs were met would go a long way towards securing supply.

She said before the pandemic, student-specific accommodation had a turnover rate of about 40 per cent, but now it was as low as five to eight-per-cent, showing just how much demand had increased.

A new purpose-built student accommodation facility was proposed in South Perth several years ago, but has been delayed from opening for a further two years.

The 198 student rooms were supposed to be available by the start of the year of 2023. The delay was caused by many factors, including the collapse of Firm Constructions, the project's favoured builder.

The Boulevard, Perth's main purpose-built student accommodation, is located in the city centre and presently has no vacancies.


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