The subdued market conditions had affected some WA regional centres, but “signs of strength” were emerging, according to Damian Collins, president of The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA).

The median house price in regional centres improved, according to REIWA’s Market Update for the June 2019 quarter.

“Port Hedland and Karratha had faced their share of challenges as a result of the slowdown in the resources sector, but signs of strength were emerging, which was encouraging,” said Collins.

The median house value in Port Hedland was up 3.4%. In Albany and Karratha median house value increased 2.7% and 1.6%, respectively, according to REIWA.

The increased jobs in WA's northern regions likely contributed to the slight price growth, according to Collins.

 “We will hopefully see some more growth in Port Hedland and Karratha due to the ramp-up of projects for Fortescue Metals Group, BHP, Rio Tinto and Woodside,” he said.

Seven regional centres also recorded a decline in the number of listings for rent, with Karratha listings dropping 56%. Listings in Esperance and Port Hedland fell 33% and 32%, respectively, the figures showed.

In Broome, the median weekly rent price increased by $35 per week. Bunbury’s weekly median rent price was up by $20 a week, according to the figures.

Port Hedland and Kalgoorlie-Boulder recorded a $10-per-week increase in median weekly rent value, the figures showed.

“Demand for rental properties has increased this last quarter, with regional areas finally seeing an improvement in overall market sentiment. We know that this is a tough time for regional WA at the moment and REIWA welcomes the large scale projects recently announced which will create more jobs, and hopefully draw people into WA to give our economy the boost that it needs,” Collins said.