How to find accommodation in Perth

Finding accommodation in Perth
Updated 2023-05-14 11:14

Perth is the largest city in Western Australia and is popular with expats, especially those employed in the mining or construction industries. Perth offers a warm climate, great amenities, and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Although more remote than Australia's eastern seaboard cities, all major services and amenities can be found in Perth, and the city is popular with both expats and backpackers. Cost-wise, it tends to be cheaper than Melbourne and Sydney.  

Perth's neighborhoods

Perth is a cool city with neighborhoods to suit every taste and lifestyle. Here's a breakdown of some of Perth's best neighborhoods:

Fremantle: If you're into history, culture, and a laid-back beach vibe, Fremantle is the place for you. It's home to some of Perth's best seafood restaurants, vintage shops, and craft breweries. The iconic Fremantle Markets are a must-visit for local produce and handmade goods.

Northbridge: If you're looking for a more urban and trendy vibe, Northbridge is the place to be. It's a melting pot of different cultures and home to some of Perth's best bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Subiaco: Subiaco is a popular choice for families and young professionals. It's known for its tree-lined streets, cute cafes, and boutique shops. It's also home to the iconic Subiaco Oval, a historic sporting ground that now hosts concerts and events.

Leederville: Leederville is a hip and trendy neighborhood that's popular with students and creatives. It's known for its street art, independent cinemas, and live music venues. The main strip is bustling with cafes, bars, and restaurants.

Cottesloe: If you're after a more affluent beach lifestyle, Cottesloe is the place to be. It's home to Perth's most famous beach, perfect for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. The area is also known for its high-end restaurants and stunning coastal homes.

The rental market in Perth

According to Rentwest, the rental market in 2022 was tough for Perth's renters, and low vacancy rates will likely continue in 2023. The demand for rental properties is high due to an increase in people moving to Perth, and unfortunately, there's also a shortage of listings. Due to demand outstripping supply, rents have been rising, making Perth the third most expensive state capital city to rent in, behind Sydney and Brisbane. This is a big change from previous years, where Perth was considered relatively cheap compared to other capital cities. So, it's definitely a situation that benefits landlords rather than renters at the moment. However, with persistence and flexibility, you should still be able to find accommodation that suits your needs.

Like most Australian cities, Perth has a range of individual houses or apartments for rent. Apartments are usually part of a residential complex. You will find many additional features such as security services, a concierge, and often a swimming pool and a gym. Whether you are going to study in Perth or you are in the country on a Working Holiday Visa (WHV) in Australia, you may consider a flatshare to save money and share costs with another person/persons.

Great websites for finding rental accommodation in Perth include Flatmates, Share Houses, Gumtree, Real Estate, and Flatmate Finders.

Lease conditions in Perth

The conditions of flat shares in Perth can vary, meaning there are opportunities for both short and long-term stays. The process is considered easier as you are 'interviewed' by the existing housemates, and it allows you to get a feel of the house and skip applications and lengthy searches. It is also a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to Perth.

In Perth, rent is paid every two or four weeks by bank transfer, third party, or deposit. Generally, when signing a contract or lease to rent a property in Perth, you will also need to pay one month's bond as a security deposit, as well as two or four weeks of rent up-front. Rental periods are most commonly for six months or one year, but you can sometimes negotiate longer or shorter durations. Flats can be found both furnished or unfurnished and may or may not include appliances such as a washing machine, dryer, or refrigerator, so it is always good to double-check this before signing a contract. It is also good to check if pets are allowed, as many landlords in Australia do not allow cats and dogs.

Short-term rental options in Perth

If you are seeking temporary accommodation in Perth while waiting for your ideal home to become available, there are various options you can explore. One possibility is to consider renting on Airbnb for an extended period, as some hosts offer month-long rentals beyond the typical short-term stays. Even if the host does not advertise this option on their listing, you can still approach them with this proposal, as it streamlines the hassle of arranging multiple short-term rentals.

Another option to consider is house swapping, which involves exchanging homes with someone else for a set duration. This can be a cost-effective way to explore living in a different area. Websites such as HomeExchange and Love Home Swap can facilitate house swaps by providing a platform for you to connect with other homeowners in Perth who may be interested in swapping their homes with yours.

Good to know:

Landlords tend not to include the water costs as part of your rent, but tenants are responsible for electricity, gas, and internet/cable costs.


If any damages are done to the property, the tenant may be responsible, so it is important to let your rental agency or landlord know if anything goes wrong.

Student accommodation in Perth

Perth offers a variety of student accommodation options to choose from. There are five universities in Perth (Curtin University, The University of Western Australia, Murdoch College, Edith Cowan University, and The University of Notre Dame), and all of them offer on-campus accommodation ranging from dorm rooms and self-contained apartments. Private companies operate purpose-built student accommodations close to universities, and these will have communal areas, study spaces, and 24/7 security.

Sharing a flat or house with other students is also a popular option that allows students to split the costs of rent and utilities while living with friends or fellow students. Homestays also provide a unique opportunity to experience Australian culture and practice English language skills by living with a local family in their home.

Buying a house in Perth

Expats who are not permanent residents in Australia but are looking to buy a property in Perth are likely to face some restrictions. As a non-resident, you can only purchase one property for your sole residential use, and this must be off the plan, a new development, or vacant land, and you must be approved first by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). You will also need to pay a fee, depending on the property's value. After permanent residency is obtained, this creates more possibilities in terms of investment properties. For more information about the regulations for purchasing real estate in Australia, please visit the Foreign Investment Review Board website.

The housing market in Perth

In 2023, the Perth housing market appears to be holding up better than most capital cities in Australia, even as house prices have decreased nationally. Perth's robust economy makes it more likely that prices will experience a slight uptick in Perth this year amid a generally falling market.

If you are considering buying a house in Perth, do your research, hire a real estate agent, and make sure you have a firm idea of your budget. According to REIWA, the median house price in Perth is around AUD 546,500, although this can vary greatly depending on location and the property type and style.

Property search tools in Australia

REIWA - The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia's website is a great resource for finding properties in Perth. It is the peak body for the real estate industry in Western Australia and has a massive database of properties listed by real estate agents across the state.

Domain - Domain is a popular real estate website in Australia. It isn't WA focused, but it allows you to search for properties in Perth and anywhere in the country. - This website is one of the most popular real estate search tools in Australia. It has a large database of properties listed by real estate agents (and private sellers, too!).

Homely - Homely is another real estate search tool that allows you to find properties in Perth and other cities in Australia.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.