GROWTH: An artist’s impression of LandCorp’s Madigan Estate (foreground); the agency recently released 100 lots for development. Photo: LandCorp

Karratha rents ‘normalising’ to $1,700/week

THE state’s buoyant resources sector has proved a mixed blessing for Karratha.

Its proximity to major resource projects like the North West Shelf and Rio Tinto’s iron ore operations has brought hundreds of workers to the town, sparking big increases in property prices and a runaway rental market.

But as home prices increased, affordability took a dive and the chronic shortage of houses started to drag on the expansion plans of businesses in the region.


(existing subscribers)

The password field is case sensitive.
Request new password

Register for free

Sign up here for free access to 7 articles per month + twice daily business email alerts.

Thanks! This question prevents spammers...
Enter the characters shown in the image.


In a sane world, land owners and developers would have been able to meet demand for single family housing and apartment/condominium style housing in this region ten years ago, so that growth could have been managed in a way that would have allowed many people to benefit, not just the few who were lucky enough to own homes at the beginning of this latest iron ore boom. Instead, we have a state government agency that refuses to open up land for development for years, driving rents into the stratosphere so that operations costs for miners go up so high that it stunts further investment (seems to be an ongoing theme these days, even if Swan and friends blame "productivity" for the issue) and then pat themselves on the back when they open up a relative handful of lots as the iron ore boom cools. Great work, guys. Somewhere, von Hayek is groaning in his grave...

native title claims on the land was the holdup sadly, there were always plenty of takers if the land could be released. Too much power in the wrong hands, as usual.

In a regional area with abundant areas of flat land and with Karratha, Dampier, Roeburn all being relative neighbours the situation is ridiculous. When demand increased house prices, the government should have been releasing a steady stream of blocks to keep the land prices below the capital city norm, let alone several multiples of it. Houses are expensive to build up there even without all the additional requirements for cyclone prone areas. Land should be given away so long as house are built within 2 years. The local government can make back the money that it spent on power/sewage/water on rates... Its just laziness and greed that got us here and it will be greed that keeps the status quo. Who wouldn't fight to keep their rent at $1700 a week. I would. The government has to work this out for the greater good and build up the Pilbarra before it prices itself out of work.

Add your comment

Total Shareholder Return as at 31/10/16

1 year TSR5 year TSR
385thRio Tinto12%-1%
509thCommonwealth Bank-7%14%
727 WA (and selected non WA) listed companies ranked by 1 year TSR relative to other companies with similar revenue
Source: Morningstar

Share Transactions

$0 Bought
$90k Sold
$1k Bought
Total value as at the date of the transaction
Source: Morningstar


2nd-Rio Tinto$49,225.3m
5th-Commonwealth Bank$27,005.0m
77 listed non wa companies ranked by revenue.
Source: Morningstar

BNiQ Disclaimer