Home prices within reach
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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