Prices boom in this WA region

The mining industry's resurgence has spurred home price growth

Prices boom in this WA region

Port Hedland was Western Australia’s top-performing region last year, with its median house sale price skyrocketing 44.7% to $430,500 over the course of 2021.

Port Hedland was also the top-performing regional centre for the December quarter, with its median house sale price rising 6.3% during the quarter, according to the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.

REIWA deputy president Joe White said the resurgence of WA’s mining industry in the Pilbara spurred Port Hedland’s price growth.

“The desire of mining companies to have a more localised workforce has had a big impact on the number of people looking to buy houses in Port Hedland, which has created more competition and driven up prices,” White said. “Another contributing factor is the implementation of the WA government’s Voluntary Buy-Back Scheme in the West End, which gave residents the option to sell their property for a government-guaranteed market price.

However, despite the strong price growth in Port Hedland over the course of 2021, its median house sale price remains 54% below its 2013 peak of $926,000.

“The Pilbara was one of the hardest-hit places in the state for house prices during the downturn,” White said. “House values plummeted and a lot of people experienced financial hardship as a result. Whilst we have seen significant price growth in Port Hedland over the last year, there is a way to go to reach the heights of 2013 and a lot of price growth still to be had.”

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All nine WA regional centres posted median house price growth in 2021, and six recorded price growth during the December quarter, while three recorded no change, REIWA reported.

Geraldton and Broome were the second and third top-performing regions for 2021, with Geraldton’s median house sale price up by 22.8% over the year to $356,000 and Broome’s median price rising 17.6% to $600,000.

“Lifestyle is a driving force behind the strong price growth recorded in Geraldton and Broome. Local agents on the ground in Geraldton and Broome have said a combination of the tourist boom and strong demand for rentals has seen an increasing number of people purchase property in these areas, leading to a surge in prices,” White said. “As we adjust to living with COVID-19 in the community, we expect to see an increasing number of people attracted to the regions for the lifestyle opportunities and the extra safety they provide, particularly now that working remotely is so common.”