Opportunity knocks in SW

INVESTORS are overlooking opportunities in the property market in the State’s South West despite the big demand for housing.

The expansion of the Sons of Gwalia mine at Greenbushes is just one of the developments that has put rental properties under pressure in the region.

L J Hooker Bridgetown principal Ziggy Gyoergy said he had spent a considerable amount of time trying to attract interest in property.

A buoyant property market in Perth hasn’t created any incentive for investors to look further afield than the city.

“The thing that’s created all of this is the expansion of the tantalum mine at Greenbushes,” Mr Gyoergy said.

“The extra job opportunities have brought in miners and their families.”

Employees working at the mine are interested in renting property in towns such as Bridgetown and surrounding areas.

A shortage of quality family homes has led to big demand for well-maintained properties.

“People are looking for a good class of home. Most of the people have travelled from places like Kalgoorlie, and they are used to high rentals and they don’t mind paying,” Mr Gyoergy said.

“There are opportunities here. In the past six months I’ve seen a rise in rental levels from $150 a week for a four bedroom two-bathroom house to beyond $200.

“There’s no trouble getting that sort of money.”

The tantalum mine is expected to have a lifespan of about 30 years, however the demand for rental properties is being driven from a number of other sectors, including the banks, the timber industry and even Homeswest.

“The timber industry and Wesfarmers have put agronomists into certain areas to look at the environmental pressures, and they also need rental housing,” Mr Gyoergy said.

The rental return for a property worth $100,000 can be up to $140 a week.

“To get more than $200 a week you’ve got to look at a property worth about $200,000,” Mr Gyoergy said.

The fact that quality properties can be rented out straight away makes it an even more attractive proposition for investors.

Other real estate agents in the region have similar high levels of demand for quality rental product.

Roy Weston property man-ager Kim Fenton said that, although the rental returns were not especially high, the strong demand for rental properties was pushing the weekly figure up.

“Anything with four bed-rooms is in high demand,” Mr Fenton said.

“We have a few investors, but we don’t get a lot of inquiries.”

A spokesperson for Ray White Manjimup said there was strong demand for the type of housing available in Perth.

“We get a lot of people who have moved down from Mandurah and a lot of people start looking for a four bedroom two-bathroom home for between $125 and $140 a week,” the spokesperson said.

“There are a lot of people who have properties and rent them out privately.

“Our biggest competitors are owners renting without an agent.”

For investors willing to look beyond Perth there are opportunities that aren’t easy to find in the city, especially for first-time buyers or investors looking for a property in the $100,000 price bracket.

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