5 best suburbs in Regional Western Australia to invest in 2021-22

TERRY RYDER
Find out which suburbs in Regional Western Australia made the top five list in Canstar’s Rising Stars Australian Property Market Report powered by Hotspotting.

The regional areas of Western Australia are well into a positive market phase that began with recovery and has now transitioned into a boom.

The Western Australian economy is rising, underpinned by its dominant resources sector, and that is lifting demand in areas north of Perth. But Regional Western Australia is also feeling a major impact from the ‘Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle’ trend, with areas south of the state capital being targeted, including the suburbs and towns in the Mandurah and Busselton regions.

The outcome is the strongest overall market experienced in Regional Western Australia since the resources investment boom a decade ago when prices went to astronomical levels in resources-related centres like Port Hedland, Karratha and Newman.

Many of those mining-impacted markets have been in decline since then and still have price levels lower than 10 years ago.

We are now seeing the first signs of strong price growth in 10 years. There has been a significant uplift in buyer activity throughout the state, while vacancy rates are extremely low, which is putting upward pressure on sale prices and rentals.

 

Halls Head
Halls Head, Western Australia. Image source: bmphotographer/Shutterstock.com

The 5 best suburbs in Regional Western Australia to invest in

  • Broome
  • Carey Park (Bunbury)
  • Falcon (Mandurah)
  • Geographe (Busselton)
  • Halls Head (Mandurah)

Our recommended locations are dominated by lifestyle areas. Although there are growing signs of recovery in resources centres like Port Hedland and Karratha, we are reluctant to suggest mining towns that have a boom-bust history and are high risk for investors. Their volatility is evident in the recent data.

Broome in the far north of the state is an example of locations being targeted in the ‘Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle’ trend. Sales activity has risen strongly and prices have started to respond, with the median house price now $480,000. Vacancies in this area are near zero and there has been a massive rise in residential rentals. Prices have risen 10%-11% in the past year and everything points to even higher growth in the near future.

Bunbury is the largest regional city in WA with a multi-faceted economy and an important export port. The suburb of Carey Park is typical of what the city offers: affordable housing, with a median price still in the mid-$200,000s, despite a big annual increase. An 8% median price rise in the latest quarter suggests there is more growth to come, boosted by vacancies at just 0.5% and rents rising strongly.

The key regional centre of Mandurah is ideally situated for growth. It’s a desirable water-based environment in its own right and it gets a strong ripple effect from the rising market in Perth, to which it is well-connected through road and rail links. There has been a massive rise in sales activity in Mandurah suburbs in the past six to nine months, headed by Halls Head where there have been 375 house sales in the past year, with prices now rising notably. With vacancies at just 0.7% and rents heading north, more price growth is likely.

Another Mandurah location exhibiting strong growth signals is the coastal suburb of Falcon, which offers the kind of affordable lifestyle being sought by so many buyers. The median house price is $375,000 even after a 14% annual rise. All the metrics point to further price growth.

Busselton is another of the key coastal areas which are attracting lifestyle buyers. Geographe has a vacancy rate of 0.3% and rents are soaring. Sales activity is also heading north and the rate of price growth in the latest quarter, relative to the annual rise, suggests this will continue.

The 5 best suburbs in Regional Western Australia to invest in

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Suburb Median house price 1-yr growth 10-yr average
annual growth (%pa)
Vacancy rate Median
rental yield
Broome $480,000 10.9% 0.5% 0.1% 6.0%
Carey Park
(Bunbury)
$240,000 17.6% -0.8% 0.5% 6.8%
Falcon
(Mandurah)
$375,000 14.4% 0.2% 0.7% 4.6%
Geographe
(Busselton)
$490,000 8.1% 2.5% 0.3% 4.9%
Halls Head
(Mandurah)
$440,000 11.4% 0.4% 0.7% 4.7%

Sources: Median price, growth and rental yield: CoreLogic data sourced from yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au dated 1 August 2021. Vacancy rates: SQM Research as at September 2021.

Cover image source: Bruce Aspley/Shutterstock.com


Terry is the founder and Managing Director of hotspotting.com.au, which he created in 2006 to help investors find the best places to buy. Terry has been a specialist researcher and writer on Australian residential property in a career spanning four decades. During that time he has published four books.

 

 


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