Seven of the nine centres in regional WA experienced median house price growth during the December 2020 quarter.
REIWA President Damian Collins said not only were prices up compared to the September 2020 quarter, but reiwa.com data shows eight centres experienced house price growth compared to the December 2019 quarter too.
“Port Hedland saw the biggest improvement, with its median price increasing to $270,000. This represents an improvement of 9.3 per compared to the September 2020 quarter and 17 per cent compared to the December 2019 quarter.
“Esperance was another strong performer, with its median increasing to $343,000, an increase of 3.9 per cent during the quarter and 9.8 per cent compared to the December 2019 quarter,” Mr Collins said.
Five regional centres saw sales activity increase during the quarter, with reiwa.com data revealing Karratha and Geraldton were the standouts.
“Sales activity was up 15 per cent in Karratha and 12 per cent in Geraldton during the quarter. The other centres to record improvements were Port Hedland (up seven per cent), Albany (up four per cent) and Kalgoorlie-Boulder (up one per cent),” Mr Collins said.
“Overall, the regional sales markets are showing strong signs of recovery, with mining sectors like Port Hedland and Karratha leading the way. This is in part due to the commitment by mining companies to keep their workers in WA as they continue to navigate the COVID-19 travel restrictions.
“REIWA members are also reporting they are hearing from a growing number of people seeking to escape the city for a sea change. With the fallout of COVID-19 changing how we do business; West Australians are increasingly able to work remotely and therefore have more freedom to choose where they want to live. It will be interesting to see whether this translates to longer term regional population growth.”
Listings for rent declined in seven regional centres during the December 2020 quarter.
“Busselton and Bunbury saw the biggest reduction during the quarter, with listings down 36 per cent and 23 per cent respectively in these areas,” Mr Collins said.
reiwa.com data shows all nine regional centres recorded an increase in rent during the quarter.
“With fewer rentals available across regional WA, tenants were having to offer more weekly rent to secure a lease. Port Hedland and Karratha recorded the biggest quarterly increase in rent price, with their median rents up $55 to $550 per week and $50 to $700 per week respectively,” Mr Collins said.
“The decrease in rental stock across regional WA can be attributed to higher demand and subdued investor activity. Almost all regional WA markets are now in a state of undersupply, with vacancy rates at or below one per cent in many cases. Investors may want to consider regional WA as part of their investment portfolio, rather than just focusing on Perth.”