House in WA’s Mid West town of Mullewa selling for $24,000

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Adam PoulsenMidwest Times
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Ray White Geraldton sales manager Henry Van Tiel at a home in Sunset Beach, a suburb he said offered some of the best value properties in the city.
Camera IconRay White Geraldton sales manager Henry Van Tiel at a home in Sunset Beach, a suburb he said offered some of the best value properties in the city. Credit: Adam Poulsen

House prices in remote parts of the Mid West have fallen to as low as $24,000 — a pittance when you consider the median Perth house price of about $500,000.

A $24,000 home is for sale in Mullewa — and while it is nothing flashy, it gives you three bedrooms and one bathroom on a 1012sqm block.

Meanwhile in Morawa, $39,000 will buy you a house set on two different titles covering about 1800sqm.

Morawa Shire president Karen Chappel said the town offered ample opportunities for those willing to take the plunge.

“We have a kindergarten to Year 12 school, an agricultural college, a hospital and doctor, and an incredibly good swimming pool,” she said.

“We have very good sporting infrastructure, a football team and cricket side, a tennis club, bowling club — all the clubs that make a community what they are.”

As well as agriculture, Ms Chappel said there were other sectors providing plenty of jobs to residents.

“Education would have to be one of the greatest employers, because you can’t have 300 students in a town without having all sorts of support mechanisms around that,” she said.

“Every farmer is looking for someone to work for them most of the time; there’s the agricultural college; the hospital is a great employer; and we have mining at Karara, which is only 85km away.”

But what about lifestyle?

VideoThe first half of 2019 will be the best time for first home buyers to enter the market, or those wanting to upgrade. The healthy rental market of 2018 is expected to continue through the new year.

“It’s a kind, inclusive community with no inter-generational gap, and everybody knows everyone,” she said.

“One of our strategic projects at the moment is the regeneration of population, looking at ways we can bring people into our community.

“The facilities are there, we just encourage people to come and join us.” Professionals Geraldton sales manager Alby Svenson, who sells properties across the Mid West, said many people buying in small regional towns were aged over 50.

“Those who’ve worked for 20 or 30 years and have a bank account can go, ‘well, I can pay this with cash and live the dream’,” he said.

“These properties go to market and they all sell relatively quickly. If they’re priced right, people will buy them no matter what.

“We’re getting a lot of Perth people buying houses — especially in places like Mount Magnet and Sandstone — which they use as bases to go prospecting.

“It’s just really good value at the moment.” Mr Svenson said some properties were listed for up to 75 per cent less than they were several years ago — a situation that would not last.

His view was echoed by Ray White Geraldton sales manager Henry Van Tiel.

“It’s got to the point where it is better to buy than it is to rent — but in time prices are going to go up again,” Mr Van Tiel said.

“The opportunity to buy in Geraldton compared to five years ago is phenomenal.

“When interest rates remain so low for so long, and prices are down, it’s a good combination. So it makes sense to do it now while you can.”

Mr Van Tiel said an oversupply of properties on the market was one factor contributing to low prices.

But he said while it was a great time to buy, the flip side was that it was now tougher to get a home loan.

“Lending criteria is probably tighter than what it was, so it’s a little bit harder to buy in that sense,” he said.

“There’s indications that we’re probably around the bottom of the cycle. It’s fairly clear that WA’s heading towards more positive territory, with population coming back to the State.

“Once that happens, rentals start to creep up, and there’s a bit more demand there so investors then move into the market, and that creates competition with people who are just buying for themselves.

“I’d feel pretty confident, buying in the current market, that you’re going to probably see some returns to normal growth in the next few years.”

And what Geraldton suburb offers the best bang for the buck?

“I think Sunset Beach and Drummond Cove are reasonably undervalued,” Mr Van Tiel said.

“They’re based on the beach, you don’t have to cross a main road to get to the water and prices are pretty good.”

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Geraldton Guardian: Geraldton ranks high for housing affordability

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