WA families are set to suffer rising rent prices once the borders open next month, with a 10 to 15 percent increase expected in 2022, according to REIWA.

A lack of housing supply and already high demand will only worsen once border restrictions ease and more people look to move to WA.

Shadow Minister for Housing, Hon Steve Martin MLC, said the stress on the rental market will increase this year, with the vacancy rates already at a low one percent.

“A combination of rising prices and an extremely low vacancy rate will put WA families who rely on the rental market under enormous pressure,” Mr Martin said.

“Housing Minister John Carey must immediately outline the government’s plan to deal with the squeeze in the housing market.”

Mr Martin said the failure of WA Labor to provide sufficient social housing is also one of the factors contributing to the crippling housing crisis.

“Despite our State borders remaining closed for almost two years Minister Carey has failed to deal with the growth in the social housing waitlist. Labor has sold off more home than they have built.

“The fact is there are nearly 18,000 applicants on the waitlist for social housing, who are now being forced into an unaffordable situation of higher private rental prices.

“This will inevitably lead to more pressure on already overwhelmed welfare services.”

New data released in December showed 514 people were sleeping rough in Perth and Fremantle and a further 566 were in temporary arrangements — such as couch surfing or sleeping in overcrowded accommodation.

“Regional housing availability is even worse.

“Vacancy rates are well below 1 percent in some regional cities and towns across WA, with house prices rising sharply in some areas.

“WA Labor has been asleep at the wheel on housing and now face a growing crisis of rising rents, a lack of rental properties, a surging social housing wait list and growing homeless numbers.

“What’s the plan Minister Carey?”