As Western Australia feels the effects of the end of the decade-long mining boom, cooling property prices are creating fertile ground for property investors. We look at five WA hotspots worth watching that your parents wouldn’t have considered 25 years ago.
The decade-long mining boom well and truly put Western Australia on the map, but as the boom has ended, WA is feeling the effects of a ‘bust’ cycle.
Whether you’re a first home buyer looking for affordable entry-level prices, a seasoned investor seeking an opportunity, or you’re looking for that elusive waterfront property at a price you can actually afford, 2017 could be shaping up as the year to make your move.
Looking back 25 years, Australia was experiencing a deep recession, impacting on buying potential for the previous generation. Here are some of the opportunities in WA that your parents could only dream of – or wouldn’t have dreamed of – back then.
According to the Chief Executive of the Committee for Perth, Marion Fulker, the coastal suburb of Fremantle, a mere 17 kilometres from Perth, is considered a very desirable place to live.
This is due to Freo’s “high level of amenities, such as public transport, good schools and a variety of shops, cafés and restaurants.”
Fremantle has maintained a steady increase in median house prices over the past 10 years – from $740 000 to $840 000. It’s a trend that seems set to continue as Fremantle undergoes one of the biggest waterfront developments Perth has ever seen, with 206,200sqm of prime South Quay water front now reserved for housing, hotels, cafés, bars and restaurants.
Not bad for a city which, only 25 years ago experienced its first dwelling increase, and was only considered for redevelopment in 2000.
South Hedland, Pilbara region
Over a thousand kilometres north of Perth in the Pilbara region of WA, South Hedland is a suburb of the town of Port Hedland, which 25 years ago was more famous for its immigration detention facility than as a town with real lifestyle potential.
A delight for first-time buyers, or those looking for a property with potential to capitalise, South Hedland has a desirable median house price of just $240,000. This is a sharp decline from 2014 when houses could fetch $800,000 due to the resources boom.
While prices might remain flat for now — making South Hedland a great buyers’ market — this isn’t expected to last for long because the town is being targeted by the Western Australian government as the “next big thing in the Pilbara” with $380 million being earmarked for redevelopment.
The bulk of the investment will go towards funding the town’s amenities in a bid to increase its population to 30,000 over the next 10 years. Upgrades include a new hospital, a state-of-the-art recreation centre, and education facilities.
For a slice of seaside bliss, Rockingham has managed to maintain its breezy “small town” feel while still offering its own fine shopping precincts, good restaurants, cinemas, sport and recreation facilities.
The city, formerly a shire in 1962, is a mere 40 minutes from Perth and is accessible by a major freeway and public transport. This proximity and connectedness has attracted many new arrivals, including students at the Rockingham campus of Murdoch University.
With a median house price of $409,500, it is an area that boasts low-priced dwellings, and offers an ideal seaside lifestyle that buyers in inflated markets, like Sydney, could only dream about.
The heavily-industrialised neighbouring areas may have deterred investors a quarter of a century ago, but Rockingham today is one of the fastest growing areas in WA.
A mere 30 kilometres away from Perth lies a suburb with regional charm that experts predict will “explode” with buying potential in 2017. According to W.A Today, the building of the new Perth-Darwin Highway has increased interest in the area and “at only 50 minutes from Perth CBD, Bullsbrook is attractive because it accommodates a variety of lifestyles.”
Located in the city of Swan, with a wide-spread demographic ranging between 19-64, Bullsbrook provides residents with a relaxed rural lifestyle, complemented by farming, market gardening and viticulture. Significant development of the area began in the seventies but only began attracting an increase in population in the nineties.
Currently, the once-sleepy farming town fetches a median house price of $460,000. While progress and growth may have been slow over the past 25 years, this is set to change with new subdivisions for commercial and housing, along with an influx of cottage industries in the area.
Touted by local media as one of Perth’s “best kept suburban secrets”, Kallaroo is one of the four Whitford’s suburbs that grew from the WA State Government’s rezoning of large areas of coastal land to the north of Perth in 1969. Though only 26 kilometres from the city centre, 25 years ago, Kallaroo could well have been considered a little too far out of town for your Mum and Dad. Today, Kallaroo is a desirable suburb in close proximity to the beach, the trendy café area of Hillary, local schools, shopping precincts and a variety of country clubs and recreational parks.
Oceanside Realty director Pete Costigan claimed that “It’s surrounded by Hillary and Mullaloo, everyone seems to know where those suburbs are, but Kallaroo has never had that same exposure…” Overlooked by its more famous neighbours and somewhat undervalued over the past decade, Kallaroo currently holds a median house price of $695,000. If you’re looking for a beachside lifestyle with easy access to the city, Kallaroo could be an interesting place to add to your list.
If you’re considering an upgrade, it could be a promising opportunity. According to DSR data, which measures demand to supply ratio (DSR) as a predictor of capital growth potential, Kallaroo is a solid and balanced market in which to invest.
If you’re ready to buy but still don’t know where, check out our other articles on hot suburbs across Australia that weren’t hot 25 years ago.