Home prices within reach

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

Any­one search­ing for a $250,000 house in the Pil­bara three years ago would have been told they were dream­ing.

But in the past month sev­eral houses and units have sold un­der that mark in the re­gion, most re­cently a four-bed­room, two-bath­room prop­erty in Bul­garra for only $150,000 by Real­mark Kar­ratha.

Pil­bara MLA Bren­don Grylls said af­ford­able hous­ing was a wel­come change from the “dam­ag­ing” prop­erty prices dur­ing the boom.

“A nor­mal com­mu­nity has the peo­ple who work in the Pil­bara re­sources sec­tor liv­ing here with their fam­i­lies, com­ing home at the end of the day, kick­ing the footy with the kids and read­ing them a story be­fore they go to bed,” he said. “If you can get in the prop­erty mar­ket as a young fam­ily, se­cure your­self an op­por­tu­nity, then I think you are se­cur­ing your­self for the fu­ture.

“There’s still a way to go, but I like what I’m hear­ing.”

Mr Grylls said the next tran­si­tion was to see FIFO work­ers mov­ing to town per­ma­nently.

Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of WA fig­ures have the av­er­age sale price in the Kar­ratha ur­ban area at $387,500 to date this year, down from about $900,000 in 2012.

Pil­bara Real Es­tate chief ex­ec­u­tive Rob Sleator said Dampier and Kar­ratha in par­tic­u­lar were in good health.

“I think we’re still see­ing a lot of owner-oc­cu­piers, and a cou­ple of deals for in­vestors, which is re­ally ex­cit­ing be­cause peo­ple are buy­ing and are here to stay,” he said.

“My pre­dic­tion is this is the quar­ter of sta­bil­ity and be­cause of the de­clin­ing stock lev­els, we might see a slight in­crease in the last quar­ter of the year.

Real­mark Kar­ratha di­rec­tor

Alex Wa­ters said peo­ple who were rent­ing, had com­pany hous­ing or re­ceiv­ing com­pany re­bates on their rentals were now look­ing to make a per­ma­nent in­vest­ment in town.

“The best thing about that is they ac­tu­ally see them­selves be­ing here for a longer pe­riod of time,” he said.

“I think there’s def­i­nitely a sense from peo­ple that if you’re buy­ing in at the $100,000 to $200,000 level that a) it’s very hard to lose, and b) they feel that’s cer­tainly the bot­tom of the mar­ket.”

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