Regional Western Australia’s (WA) overall median house price performed well in the final quarter of 2018, while sales activity increased in particular areas during the same period.
The overall median house price climbed 5.5% to $335,000, although there were mixed results throughout regional WA. With three of the nine regional centres experiencing median house-price growth, Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) President Damian Collins said it was essential to evaluate each individual area on its own merit.
Busselton, Port Hedland, and Bunbury recorded the biggest improvements in median house price, with their respective medians climbing by 11.2%, 5%, and 1.5%.
“The increase in price in Busselton, Port Hedland and Bunbury – three of the larger regional centres in the state – was a big driver behind why regional WA’s overall median house price improved during the quarter,” Collins said.
The regional centres with the biggest annual increase in median house price were Karratha (+8%), Busselton (+ 5.7%), and Albany (+3.3%).
Broome and Esperance, meanwhile, were down by 8.5% to $430,000 and 4.4% to $325,000, respectively. These towns logged the biggest decline in price during the quarter.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder was the only regional centre where the median house price held steady, with values in the area stabilising on both a quarterly and annual basis.
REIWA also reported that in terms of sales volumes, regional WA experienced slowdown, although two regional centres recorded increases in activity during the December quarter.
“It’s not uncommon for sales to drop off this time of year, as people are generally less inclined to purchase property in the lead-up to the Christmas and New Year holiday season,” Collins said.
The Geraldton and Kalgoorlie-Boulder regional centres bucked the downward trend, registering increases in activity on both a quarterly and annual basis.
Geraldton sales were up 36% compared to the September quarter and 10% compared to the December 2017 quarter. Kalgoorlie-Boulder sales rose 10% during the quarter and 17% compared to the same time last year.
On an annual basis, Broome and Port Hedland also posted an improvement in activity, with sales up 12% and 7%, respectively, when compared to the December 2017 quarter.
“The local resurgence in mining projects has had a positive impact on sales in these regions, especially in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Port Hedland, where renewed support in mining has created more local jobs and helped to boost population growth. With mining projects in these regions expected to continue to grow, this should have a positive impact on the regions’ property markets and aid in their recovery,” Collins said.