Busselton is bustling, with the southern Western Australian area recording the strongest price growth of all regions in the state over the 12 months to March this year.

Figures from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) show that median house prices in the Busselton Urban Area grew 5.7% to $460,000 in the 12-month period.

Busselton was one of only five regional areas in WA that experienced positive growth in the period.

In second place for the year to March regional results was Albany, which saw 4.1% growth in the median house price to $385,000, while Mandurah/Murray saw growth of 1.3% growth to a median of $405,000, Bunbury

had 0.3% growth to $380,000 and Kalgoorlie/Boulder had just 0.1% growth to $343,000. 

Ryan Crawford, director of Crawford Property Group, which is based in Western Australia said there are a number of reasons behind Busselton’s strong growth.

“I’m not surprised to see that sort of growth in Busselton, it’s in an area that’s becoming really popular with tourists and with WA tourists not going overseas as much at the moment areas in the Margaret River like

Busselton are benefitting,” Crawford said.

“Its popularity with tourists has coincided with the time for a normal change of the property cycle in the area, Busselton went off the boil about seven or eight years ago at the time of GFC and we’re starting to see the price cycle their come around.”

The REIWA figures show seven regions saw median values drop over the 12-month period, with Karratha’s 33.8% decrease easily the most significant in the state.

The next biggest drop was seen in Port Hedland where prices fell 11.4%, while Broome and Northam saw decreases of 5%.

Esperance prices slipped 3.3%, while Carnarvon experienced a drop of 2.3% and in Geraldton/Greenough prices were down 0.8%.

The slowdown of the mining boom in the state is likely responsible for many of those decreases, but Crawford believes investors in those areas shouldn’t be panicking.

“Areas like Karratha were probably due for a bit of a price correction, but unfortunately that’s come at the same time as mining slowdown, so rather than a correction of 10 or 20% we’re seeing it a bit higher.

“We’re getting calls on this every day and my advice would be to hang on to those properties if you can, keep servicing them and if you can afford to trade through this period you’ll benefit on the other side.”