busselton Vespas
Virus Escapees have been driving demand in Busselton. Image – Canva.
  • Demand from renters and buyers is high in Busselton
  • Qube is to release the final lots for their Stonebridge Estate
  • Demand has been fuelled by 'Virus Escapees Seeking Provincial Australia'

Demand for properties to rent or buy in Busselton has been increasing over the past year, perhaps driven by a pandemic-fuelled tree change trend. The final release of a rural development near the town is expected to be snapped up quickly.

Back in March, REIWA revealed that it took just 11 days on average for a rental to lease in Busselton.

According to SQM Research, houses in Busselton has been recording asking prices at $490,937 as of this month – the highest level seen in several years – although this is below the $500K-plus prices witnessed during the end of the last WA housing boom in the mid-2010s.

Busselton – 6280 

[Select part of the chart to zoom in on various years, and ‘reset zoom’ button to return]

Celebrating 25 years in 2020, Qube Property Group is about to launch the final release of its Busselton development, Stonebridge Estate.

Stonebridge is home to 57 rural 2,000sqm blocks with Qube Managing Director, Mark Hector, expecting demand to be high for the last 15 lots given previous sales performances and the overall state of the Busselton property market.

“We saw the average number of Stonebridge enquiries go from 1-3 per week pre-market recovery to 5-10 per week as the initial post-pandemic boom began to really gain traction,” said Mr Hector.

Mark Hector
Mark Hector. Image – LinkedIn.

“The rate of sales are a clear indication not only of the state’s recovering property market – 13 sales pre-recovery, 29 sales post-recovery – but also of Busselton’s enduring popularity as a destination town for sea changers,  holiday makers and locals alike.”

Mark Hector, Qube Managing Director

While acknowledging Busselton had always been a popular sea change destination, the pandemic has cemented this status due to the prevalence of ‘VESPAS’ (Virus Escapees Seeking Provincial Australia), a term first coined by demographer Bernard Salt.

Bustling Busselton

Additionally, Jetstar intended to begin direct flights from the new Busselton-Margaret River Airport to Melbourne this month, however, this has been delayed.

The popularity of ‘bustling Busselton’ and other South West towns such as ‘booming Bunbury’ has been driven as buyers seek permanent bases rather than vacation homes, thanks to flexible working arrangements.

So far, half of Stonebridge sales have been from South-West locals followed by 40% from Perth and northern WA with the remaining 10% from the eastern states.

While enquiries were on the rise pre-covid, Mr Hector said sales escalated once a raft of stimulus measures were introduced.

“Buyers of Stonebridge lots were eligible for the Federal Home Builder Grant as well as the State Builder Bonus Grant, both of which have played a part in the growing sales momentum,” he said.

Qube is set to announce a final limited release for blocks at their nearby Port Geographe development by the end of the year.

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