In the five years since draftsman Scott Hawley, 29, moved from England to Perth his weekly rent has almost doubled.
In 2007, he paid $230 a week in Carramar in Perth's northern suburbs. In 2012 he is paying $420 a week in nearby Sinagra.
Tired of wasting money, Mr Hawley and his partner Alicia Bjorke-Nielsen weighed the options of renting versus buying and entered the property market.
"Renting now outweighs the cost of a mortgage," Mr Hawley said.
The pair bought a 504sqm block at Yanchep Golf Estate for $200,000 and hope to start building in the new year.
According to developer Peet, 300,000 is a magic number for Perth homebuyers when deciding whether to rent or buy.
Using Real Estate Institute of WA data and online calculators on the Federal Government's MoneySmart website ( www.moneysmart.gov.au ) at a home loan rate of 6 per cent, mortgage repayments on a $300,000 home can be $35 a week less than Perth's median house rent of $450 a week.
"A low interest rate environment and competitive pricing have led to improved housing affordability," Peet managing director and chief executive Brendan Gore said.
"At the same time, rental costs are high, largely because WA's economic strength is luring more and more people to our city."
Propell National Valuers WA State manager Travis Coleman said the gap between buying and renting had declined substantially over the past year.
"If you are in secure employment and have sufficient savings then it can now be an attractive option to buy a home," he said.
REIWA president David Airey said buying versus renting was about personal circumstances, budget and lifestyle.
However, it was a great time to buy