Busselton and Bunbury lead regional growth in WA

The south west of Western Australia has continued its strong recent performance, with Busselton and Bunbury the top performers for price growth in the September quarter.

According to the Real Estate Institute of WA September 2022 quarter regional update, Busselton’s median house price rose 5.4 per cent to $648,000 during the quarter, while Bunbury’s increased 2.5 per cent to $410,000.

Busselton was also the top performer annually with an increase of 22.3 per cent.

REIWA President Joe White said regional Western Australia was still tracking well, with most areas showing growth or remaining stable over the quarter.

Busselton has been a consistently strong performer over the past few years, both quarterly and annually, which is driven by population growth,” Mr White said.

“There are three mining companies that fly out of Busselton, so the area is attracting FIFO workers who come down to enjoy the lifestyle.

“There is also an increase in the work-from-home/micro business trend; the idea of having to live where you work has changed significantly post-COVID. 

“In this field we’re seeing a lot of growth in the 25-35 age bracket who are choosing to enjoy the south west lifestyle.”

Mr White said Bunbury also attracted FIFO buyers, but its growth related more to its position as a major employment centre.

“Bunbury is a bigger regional centre and has a strong industrial and manufacturing base as well as the port. These are all major sources of employment, which attracts residents,” he said.

“One interesting trend relates to the medical industry. There are two great hospitals in the area that offer the same range of medical services as you would find in Perth.

“This is great for residents but is also seeing young medical professionals relocate based on the employment opportunities and lifestyle benefits.”

Elsewhere, Albany and Broome both saw more than 10 per cent annual growth while Geraldton values grew by 8.6 per cent.

Mining-focused ​​Port Hedland achieved 12.9 per cent annual growth on the back of strong commodity prices.

Mr White said Port Hedland’s strong annual growth was a reflection of the ongoing effects of the mining-driven employment.

“Annually all regional centres have seen growth over the past 12 months,” he said.

“Regional WA continues to benefit from the state’s strong economy, jobs market, growing population and people’s desire for a lifestyle change.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.