Rental demand has climbed in Greater Geraldton following the launch of several large development projects, according to the Mid West Development Commission – a sign that green shoots are starting to emerge in the coastal city’s housing market.
REIWA data reveals similar movement in median house prices, with the suburb of Geraldton experiencing annual median house price growth of 22.3 per cent in 2020, similar to the neighbouring suburbs of West End, Utakarra and Waggrakine, which lodged upticks of 27.7 per cent, 22.9 per cent and 23.6 per cent respectively.
While not every locality recorded sales activity, little over half of the city’s suburbs enjoyed movement, particularly the east-north-east town of Mullewa which saw a 30 per cent spike.
Considered the hub of the Mid West – a region covering almost a fifth of Western Australia’s land mass and constituting the state’s most diverse regional economy – Geraldton is known to reap economic benefits from activity in the area.
The Mid West Development Commission, which aims to grow the region, is supportive of dozens of regional projects designed to increase opportunities in the Mid West.
Commission Chair Tim Glenister said some of these projects, including a ballooning aquaculture industry, had already had a positive impact on Geraldton’s property market.
“These projects will all have employment demand during construction, and demand for housing generally follows,” he said.
“We have already recently seen an increased demand for rental accommodation.”
At the moment, the State Government has budged for a handful of Mid West projects, including a Main Roads office redevelopment, health centre upgrades and development of Greenough Regional Prison.
The funding is a welcome complement to the region’s strengths in construction, healthcare, public administration and several other employment sectors.
Mr Glenister said the job opportunities and positioning between Perth and the north’s growing economies would be one of many factors that would increase the Mid West’s liveability, particularly Geraldton’s.
“It’s all about the lifestyle,” he said. “With a beautiful Mediterranean climate, the sun shines almost all the time.
“In winter the temperature averages around 20C and 33C in summer.
“And specifically in relation to the marine aquaculture industry, there is significant potential for job creation – up to 1400 jobs.”
Also helping to stir the housing market in Greater Geraldton is the appeal of natural attractions such as Mid West beaches, a strong sporting culture and infrastructure, and more than 50 schooling options for children as well as tertiary institutions for further study.
“Significant investment has also taken place in the latter sector recently, providing the Mid West with state-of-the-art higher education and training facilities and infrastructure,” Mr Glenister said.
“We also cater for older generations, with the Queen Elizabeth II Seniors and Community Centre offering activities that promote an active, healthy lifestyle.
“The facility acts as a one-stop shop of information for seniors and their families, with events and workshops allowing for regular socialising.”
The Mid West Development Commission is one of nine commissions in WA dedicated to maximising job opportunities and drawing people to the state’s regional patches.
Country WA residents can find the projects their local regional commission supports by visiting www.drd.wa.gov.au/Pages/Home.aspx.