26/05/2015 - 13:35

Busselton houses beat Karratha prices

26/05/2015 - 13:35

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The popularity of Busselton as a residential base for FIFO workers has contributed to solid growth in house prices in the South West city, which is now a more expensive place to buy a home than Karratha, where property values continue to plummet.

Busselton houses beat Karratha prices
REIWA president David Airey.

The popularity of Busselton as a residential base for FIFO workers has contributed to solid growth in house prices in the South West city, which is now a more expensive place to buy a home than Karratha, where property values continue to plummet.

Real Estate Institute of Western Australia data for the year to March shows the median house price in Karratha fell to $450,000 - down 33.8 per cent over the past year and nearly half the all-time peak of $820,000 recorded in 2010.

In contrast, Busselton was the best performer in the regions, up 5.7 per cent at $460,000.

 

In second place was Albany, with 4.1 per cent growth in its median house price to $385,000.

"Not surprisingly, the mining downturn in the Pilbara has hit that region hard," REIWA president David Airey said.

The impact has been uneven, with Port Hedland's median house price falling by 11.4 per cent to $753,000.

REIWA southwest spokesman Joe White said "I think a lot of people who might have been attracted to Busselton in recent years were lured away to places like Karratha and Port Hedland when the mining boom was on, but are now starting to come back given that's winding down".

Mr White said the lifestyle in Busselton was the main attraction, for both retirees and workers.

“People forget that while the mining-construction boom has finished, these new mines still have to produce and the workforce is predominantly FIFO," he said.

"These highly skilled people are in strong demand and making a lifestyle decision to live here given the new and improved infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, sporting and recreational culture and all with no traffic congestion." 

The only other regional centres to experience growth were Mandurah/Murray with 1.3 per cent growth to a median of $405,000, Bunbury with 0.3 per cent growth to $380,000 and Kalgoorlie/Boulder with just 0.1 per cent growth to $343,000.

All seven other regional centres had negative growth in the 12 months to March, with Broome down 5 per cent to $585,000 and Geraldton down 0.8 per cent to $377,000.

 

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