Signs of improvement in WA’s regional property market

The Pilbara market is an area to watch according to REIWA.
The Pilbara market is an area to watch according to REIWA.

THINGS are looking up for WA’s regional property market according to REIWA with improvements in sales activity and median house price recorded during the September quarter 2018.

President Damian Collins said the overall regional median had increased 7.8 per cent to $345,000, while overall sales were up 1.2 per cent.

“It’s the first time this year we’ve seen overall sales activity and median house price improve simultaneously in regional WA,” he said.

“Pleasingly, regional WA’s median house price also held up well on an annual basis, with the September quarter 2018 median 3 per cent higher than the September quarter 2017.”

Five of WA’s 11 regional centres recorded stable or increased median prices during the quarter.

“Albany was the top performing regional centre, with its median lifting from $339,000 to $430,000 – a 26.8 per cent increase,” Mr Collins said.

“It also experienced an improvement on an annual basis, with its median price now 17.5 per cent higher than last year’s September quarter median.

“There was a shift in the composition of sales in Albany during the quarter, with significantly more activity occurring above $350,000 than there previously has been, and fewer sales occurring below $350,000, which is where the bulk of activity has typically occurred in this region.”

Other regional centres to experience quarterly improvements in median price were Busselton (up 9.8 per cent), Bunbury (up 1.9 per cent) and Geraldton/Greenough (up 1.8 per cent), while Broome’s median house price was stable.

Six regional centres recorded an increase in sales activity during the quarter.

“Broome saw the biggest increase in sales growth, lifting from 20 sales in the June quarter 2018, to 38 sales this quarter – a 90 per cent increase,” Mr Collins said.

“Port Hedland in the Pilbara also had a strong month, with sales up 51.7 per cent on the June quarter, with 91 transactions recorded, while neighbouring regional centre Karratha also recorded 91 sales, an improvement of 23 per cent on last quarter.”

Mr Collins said the Pilbara region was an area to watch, with the announcement of three new mining projects in the region by BHP, Rio Tinto and FMG helping restore confidence in the area.

“With 20,000 new local jobs expected to be created as a result of these projects, this should support population growth in the region, improve demand for housing in the area and aid recovery,” he said.

Other regional centres to record an improvement in sales were Geraldton/Greenough (up 31.8 per cent), Kalgoorlie/Boulder (up 26.8 per cent) and Mandurah/Murray (up 8.5 per cent), while activity in Albany was stable.

Carnarvon was not included in the quarterly data as it recorded less than 10 sales during the period.