16/03/2004 - 21:00

Property Upturn On

16/03/2004 - 21:00

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LONG overlooked by local investors, the seaside town of Geraldton is attracting the attention of investors around Australia.

LONG overlooked by local investors, the seaside town of Geraldton is attracting the attention of investors around Australia.

According to local real estate agents, the local market is experiencing an overdue upturn, being fuelled by interstate investors searching for good value coastal property.

Real Estate Institute of WA Geraldton branch chairman Andrew Short said that, in the past 12 months, the property market in Geraldton had experienced a doubling in volume and sales.

Mr Short said eastern States investors were being attracted to the city because it had not yet experienced the huge increases in values of other coastal locations. Investors also have taken note of the high rental return versus investment price Geraldton property offered, as well as significant investment going into the region.

One eastern States buyer recently bought nine properties in Geraldton, citing the purchases as good value in comparison to the 3 per cent rental return achieved in Sydney.

According to Mr Short, a $70,000 residential property in Geraldton can generate rental return of $120 a week, with rental rates in the Mid-West centre ranging from $120 to $400 per week.

Unlike many other coastal locations, land in Geraldton has remained affordable – $30,000 will buy you a block in a new subdivision and $130,000 will buy one with ocean views.

However, Mr Short does not believe that Geraldton’s property will remain undervalued for long.

“Our property values have gone up by 10 per cent in the last 12 months and I expect them to go up by another 10 per cent in the next 12 months,” he said.

Roy Weston Geraldton principal Stuart Walls agreed that mainly eastern States investors, who have taken notice of the high rental return versus investment price, were driving up the Geraldton market.

Local property developer Barry Humfrey said he had turned over more land transactions in the past three months than in the past two and half years, with many buyers coming from the east coast and the UK.

Mr Humfey said that, since the State Government began its program of investment in Geraldton, things had started to happen for the city.

“We were in the doldrums for five to six years, that’s a long time to be in the doldrums,” he said.

“Now the whole of Geraldton is a development site, everywhere you go something is happening.”

Humfrey Land Developments recently bought the Mariners Hotel and is embarking on a $26 million tavern and hotel resort development on the two-hectare site.

The resort facility will comprise 92 Quest apartments, 30 of which will be long-stay apartments.

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