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Perth tenants should brace themselves as rising house prices, improving economic conditions and more newcomers to the state combine to force up rents this year, a leading property researcher says.

The latest rental report by Australian Property Monitors shows asking rents in Perth have increased in the first three months of the year.

The median weekly asking rent for houses in the metropolitan area is now $370, a $10 increase on the previous quarter and the first rise in more than a year, while units increased $8, to $358.

But with rising house prices, increased rents have not led to increased yields. The gross yield for houses is now 4.06 per cent, while units are yielding 4.62 per cent.

That leaves Perth ahead of only Melbourne among all state capitals.

APM economist Matthew Bell said he expected Perth rentals to increase a further $10 a quarter for the rest of the year, with a strong resources sector and population growth the driving factors.

But this was unlikely to be fast enough to maintain yields, which would drop slightly as house prices rose further. The median Perth house price is believed to have passed $500,000.

Really, the outlook for both rents and house prices is pretty strong,” he said.

“Yields will probably soften again, but historically they are at pretty good levels.”

Houses were usually bought by investors for capital growth, with units offering better yields, Mr Bell said.

Meanwhile, the Urban Development Institute of Australia said its own research showed a six-month delay in planning approval could add 7 per cent to the price of an average block in the metropolitan area.

UDIA WA chief executive Debra Goostrey said developers were doing what they could to ensure “affordable” land was being made available during a time of increasing prices.

“We also need the support of a fast and efficient planning approvals process to avoid costs associated with delays,” she said.

Her comments follow those last week by property researcher Terry Ryder, who said claims of housing shortages were a beat-up by property industry lobby groups.

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Parents of children at private WA schools should brace for fee rises up to four times the inflation rate next year, with new figures showing education costs leapt 37.5 per cent in the past five years.

Elite colleges said it was too early to set next year’s fees but they predicted rises between 5 and 8 per cent.

Principals said big pay rises to State schoolteachers last year in a three-year agreement were driving up fees at private schools because they competed for staff.

Scotch College principal Andrew Syme said fees at private schools had to go up at least 6 per cent to keep pace with teachers’ pay rises before any improvements in service.

Anglican Schools Commission chief executive Peter Laurence said fee rises at low-fee church schools would be similar to last year’s increases of between 6 and 9 per cent.

“Teachers’ pay is the number one driver that’s going to keep increases higher than they used to be a few years ago,” he said.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show education costs in Perth, comprising school fees and other miscellaneous costs, have jumped 37.5 per cent since 2004 – the biggest increase registered by any capital city. Canberra had the second biggest leap, with 29.4 per cent.

The rise was driven by a 55.9 per cent lift in fees associated with pre-schools and primary schools. By contrast, pre-school and primary school education costs in Sydney rose almost 23 per cent.

Pre-school and primary school fees have grown faster than the average wage of West Australians which, between 2004 and today, jumped 44 per cent – the biggest rise of any capital city.

The State Government has held down public primary school fees so the increase is mainly for private schools.

A private education in WA costs between $3000 a year for Year 12 tuition at low-fee Catholic schools and $17,000 a year at high-fee independent schools. Many private schools in Sydney and Melbourne charge more than $20,000 a year.

Association of Independent Schools of WA executive director Valerie Gould said the recent teacher pay rises and rising construction costs in the building boom two years ago may have been the big contributors to increased education costs.

WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief economist John Nicolaou said the fact fees were going up so much in the private sector reflected poorly on the public school sector.

He said people were voting with their feet and going to the private sector even while fees were rising, which said something about what parents thought of Government schools.

WA Secondary School Executives Association president Rob Nairn said students in Years 8 to 10 could get an education at a State school for a voluntary contribution of $235 a year. Costs were higher in Years 11 and 12 but much less than in private schools.

Source  :   www.thewest.com.au

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The latest in a series of destructive cold fronts slammed into WA overnight, causing destructive winds, rain and hail storms.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning at 6.45am, following similar warnings issued throughout the weekend.

Waves from the Swan River are washing onto the Kwinana Freeway north of Canning Highway citybound. There is also flooding on Beaufort Street in Inglewood heading into the city and on Riverside Drive.

Traffic lights are blacked out at the Great Eastern Highway and Bolton Road intersection in Burswood.

The front is the most severe of a series that have descended on WA over the past few days.

A wind gust of 115kmh was recorded at Rottnest Island about 6am today, and the Bureau is warning people to expect winds up to 100kmh with potentially damaging gusts reaching 125kmh this morning.

Alex Krisman from WeatherZone said Cape Naturaliste (109kmh) and Cape Leeuwin (104kmh) also recorded heavy gusts of wind – which coincided with a line of lightning flashes- at the same time as Rottnest Island.

Winds at Perth Airport hit 83kmh while the Perth metropolitan area clocked speeds up to 72kmh at 5.50am.

Rainfall was heavy, particularly across the south west. So far, Bridgetown has had 32mm from 9am yesterday morning.

Thunderstorms and heavy showers are forecast for today, particularly over the Lower West, South-West and South Coastal districts.

Abnormally high tides are set to cause flooding in low-lying coastal areas.

A gale warning has been issued from Kalbarri right through to the South Australian border.

Surfers are being warned to brace for heavy conditions, which are likely to cause significant beach erosion.

The State Emergency Service has warned people to secure loose objects, move vehicles under cover and stay inside away from windows.

People caught outdoors should find shelter away from trees, powerlines, storm water drains and streams. Boat owners should make sure their boats are securely moored.

Source  :   www.watoday.com.au

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