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Albany Holds Ground, Land on the Up

3 Sep 2014 Albany 0 Comment

Figures just released from REIWA and Landgate show that interest in Albany property remains strong despite heavy declines in some regional centres.

502 established homes sold in Albany in 2013-14; exactly the same number as the year before.  This is a strong result considering every other regional centre recorded less sales than the previous year. Notably the Augusta / Margaret River area was down by more than 18%, Geraldton down almost 13%, Kalgoorlie down more than 38% and to the North, Broome was down 29% and Port Headland recorded 35% fewer sales.  Almost holding ground was Mandurah and the South West towns of Bunbury and Busselton only recorded falls of just over 8%.

Albany also led the way in land sales; with 217 sales last financial year against 195 the year before – an increase of 11%. The only other centres to record an increase in land sales were Esperance and Port Hedland – both on fairly small volumes.

And whilst prices have not risen in the last 5 years for established homes (median price of $365,000), blocks have edged up to $170,000 – $17,000 more than the same time last year, and up from $145,000 five years ago.

The solid performance of Albany property sales has not come at the cost of rental properties; quite the contrary. The average weekly rent of houses in Albany is now $330 – up 10% for the year and stock levels have fallen 18% in that time – again, making Albany the best performing centre in regional WA and bucking the Perth metropolitan trend where rents have fallen and vacancy rates are increasing.

Are we on the cusp of a price break-out?  The numbers above would certainly indicate that punters should bet on prices increasing rather than decreasing, but a boom of 2007 proportions seems unlikely in these more conservative times.  One reliable early indicator is stock level – the number of homes on the market.  Compared with this time last year, we are down 14% with 687 homes currently for sale.  So all the numbers are in the right direction for at least some moderate price growth to reward patient Albany property owners.

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