Western Australia’s coastal holiday hotspots Broome and Busselton are experiencing surging house prices, with real estate agents reporting increased interest in regional living from city dwellers.
- Broome and Busselton have experienced strong house price increases in the past year
- Agents say city people looking for a sea change are fueling the price rise
- Low socio-economic areas are also seeing values increase
New data released by the Real Estate Institute of WA (REIWA) shows both locations were the top-performing regional centers in the June quarter.
Broome’s median house sale price lifted 4.7 per cent in the past three months to $649,000, while Busselton’s increased by 4.5 per cent to $610,000.
On an annual basis, both areas saw more than 15 per cent growth in housing prices.
REIWA deputy president Joe White said price growth was being driven by people migrating from the cities.
“The local market [in Broome] is strong and demand for property is high with many people moving to the regional center for a sea change,” he said.
“There is also the FIFO factor, with three companies now flying workers directly out of the Busselton Margaret River Airport.”
‘Undervalued’ suburbs also booming
It is not just the popular seaside communities seeing growth — locations that are typically more affordable are also feeling the heat.
The suburb of Carey Park in Bunbury, two hours south of Perth, has normally had cheaper house prices, but local real estate agents said that it was starting to change.
Bunbury-based agent Melanie Hurst said some areas had been overlooked until now.
“Carey Park, traditionally it’s been undervalued,” she said.
“Because for a long time rents were low, houses prices were low, but that has all changed probably in the last 18 months.”
REIWA south-west branch president Drew Carey agreed.
“I think probably those areas are going to enjoy a bit of a renaissance to get them up to what I would consider to be long overdue par value,” he said.
“I think longer term we’re going to continue to see prices continue to travel up in WA, at least compared to the eastern states.”
High prices not good for everyone
But the increase in housing prices puts more pressure on regional centers already experiencing housing stress.
Just Home Margaret River community development officer Geraldine Clark said her organization had seen an increase of people experiencing homelessness.
“There are very little rentals, very few houses for sale, and the prices of both are enormous,” she said.
“We’re not just lacking social housing and affordable housing, we’re lacking housing in all facets now.”