While Perth house prices hit record levels, the average home in one regional town has soared more than 40 per cent in a year.
According to new data from REIWA, eight of WA’s nine regions, all bar Goldfields-Esperance, saw a spike in home prices during the first three months of the year.
House prices in Port Hedland — which is a vital cog in WA’s resource sector — jumped 40.6 per cent to an average of $457,000 in the year from March 2021 to March 2022.
REIWA deputy president Joe White put the sky-high sums down to the Pilbara’s “thriving commodity market” and COVID-19.
He said many mining companies saw the importance of having a localised workforce when WA had its borders closed.
Mr White also said the State Government’s voluntary buy-back scheme, which allowed people to sell their residential properties to the Government at a guaranteed premium market price, impacted on the region’s prices.
But it wasn’t just the North West that performed well.
The South West tourist haven of Busselton was the top-performing regional centre for price growth.
Data shows house prices increased by 5.5 per cent to $580,000.
Mr White said the figures reflected the lack of available housing in Busselton, with listings dropping by more than 20 per cent during the quarter.
“With less stock available, this has turned the heat up amongst buyers, forcing them to be more competitive when putting an offer on a property and pushing up the regional centre’s median price,” he said.
“We’ve also seen an increase in interest in the Busselton regional centre from people living in Perth and interstate which has contributed to demand.”
Mr White said the direct flights from Melbourne to the Busselton-Margaret River Airport could also impact on house prices in the future.
Other regional centres such as Geraldton and Broome had huge 12-month median house price increases of 21 per cent and 17.5 per cent respectively.
The median price in Geraldton is now $375,000, while Broome is almost double that on $619,000.
Albany’s median house price is $425,000. Bunbury’s is $395,000 and Esperance is $390,000.
Karratha was $513,750 and Kalgoorlie was the cheapest city listed on $326,020.
The figures come amid a State Parliament inquiry into homelessness in WA.