New research has revealed three Bunbury suburbs are among the worst hit by WA’s ongoing rental crisis, with a vacancy rate of less than one per cent. The study — commissioned by online home loan lender Well Home Loans — identified Dalyellup, Carey Park and Australind in the 20 suburbs of WA with a maximum of just three vacant rentals from more than 500 properties. In December, only two of Dalyellup’s 1160 rental properties are vacant, which was less than Carey Park — three of 1548 — and Australind — three of 1564. The research found properties in all three suburbs spent an average of 15 days on the market, with rent prices increasing by $70 a week in Dalyellup and $60 a week in Carey Park and Australind. Well Home Loans chief executive Scott Spencer said investors are benefiting from the current crisis. “If you’re an investor in a suburb that contains only three vacant rental properties, tenants have to compete hard for your property, which gives you the chance to push up rents,” he said. “Conversely, if you’re a tenant, life is really tough, because it’s difficult to find accommodation and you know rents are climbing fast. “That gives investors considerable market power.” Mr Spencer said tenants in these suburbs might want to consider buying, especially if rents had increased to a point where they were now more expensive than mortgage repayments. However, Mr Spencer noted that some of these suburbs had high levels of disadvantage — measured by the Australian Bureau of Statistics — which would make it hard for local residents to get into the property market. In December, REIWA deputy president Joe White said the current crisis was unfortunate, but not surprising. “We have a rental crisis in WA, full stop. There is only one solution and that is more roofs over more people’s heads,” he said. “Our supply of housing is too low and any policy that seeks to work against those factors which increase supply should be treated with a blowtorch to the belly.” Of the 20 suburbs with more than 500 rental properties and three or less available in WA, six are regional and 14 are located in Perth. North Beach was ranked as the worst in the study with one property of 746 available, while Broadwater — in Busselton — was worst among the regions, securing fourth place with one in 690 properties available.