Busselton led the way for price growth in the December 2023 quarter

14 February 2024

"REIWA President Joe White said several factors were underpinning price growth in Busselton."

Busselton was the top performing regional centre for the December 2023 quarter, according to the latest data from REIWA.

Its median house sale price rose 4.2 per cent to $715,000, up from $686,000 in the September quarter.

REIWA President Joe White said several factors were underpinning price growth in Busselton.

“The rental shortage is driving the lower end of the market as people look to buy a home and get off the rental roundabout,” he said.

“Population growth and the rush to the regions are the other factors. The state is seeing strong population growth overall and the fantastic South-West lifestyle continues to draw people to Busselton.

“And you can’t underestimate the ongoing impact of the airport on the region. With three mining companies flying out of Busselton there has been a strong influx of FIFO workers and their families to the area. They are keen to enjoy the lifestyle and the airport lets them commute with ease.

“The high demand for homes is reflected in the number of sales in the December quarter. They were 19.0 per cent higher than the September quarter and 5.3 per cent higher than the same time in 2022.

“While sales historically slow down over the Christmas period, there was little evidence of that this year.”

Seven of the nine regional centres recorded increases in the median house sale price over the quarter, one remained stable and one recorded a small decline.

Annually, Port Hedland recorded the most growth, with its median house sale price rising 14.1 per cent over the year to $523,086. Bunbury was the next best performer over the year with a 9.5 per cent increase in its median house sale price.

Regional rental market

In the rental market, seven regional centres recorded an increase in their median weekly rent over the quarter. One remained unchanged and one declined.

Esperance saw the most growth, with its median weekly rent increasing 21.1 per cent to $460. It was also the top performer over the year, with its median weekly rent increasing 39.4 per cent.

Mr White said the rent growth in Esperance reflected the shortage of rental properties in that market.

“Rental stock has dropped significantly in the last three years,” he said.

“As happened across the state, post-COVID many owners sold their investment properties. In Esperance some of these homes had been held for 20 to 30 years.

“Meanwhile, demand remains high from both locals and people seeking to move to the area for employment. The increased competition is putting upward pressure on rental prices.

“The shortage of rental properties is a huge issue for employers trying to recruit staff. As a result, our members report an increase in the number of companies buying properties or taking out corporate leases to secure accommodation for employees.”

Mr White said conditions in Esperance’s rental market were not expected to improve in the short term.

“The only way things will change is with an influx of new housing,” he said.

“However building is incredibly challenging, it takes over two years to build in Esperance.

“This is a problem reflected across the regions.”

Median house price growth 

Regional centreMedian house sale priceThree-month change12-month change
Port Hedland$523,086+3.7%+14.1%

Median weekly rent

Regional centreMedian weekly rent priceThree-month change12-month change
Port Hedland$975+2.6%+8.3%

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