- Kalgoorlie has tended to have a strong demand for the larger blocks from 800sqm
- Many buyers are purchasing with a view to build, or into medium density
- Builders in the region seem to be holding up well to the heightened demand
Regional real estate continues to be the talk of the town, with migrations triggered by lockdowns, and ongoing interest in a regional lifestyle following the realisation work from home was a viable and suitable option for many.
But with a mass move, what effects will this have on regional markets? What benefits and consequences does it have? And what does the market look like now?
The Goldfields had a “healthy amount of existing vacant land stock available” up until May 2020, according to Elliot Briers from Kalgoorlie Metro Property Group.
Mr Briers told The Property Tribune that “the majority of this existing stock was at the higher quality/price point, however, there definitely were still options for consumers who were looking to enter the building game through a cheaper parcel of land.”
The city wasn’t immune from the often-reported impact of Homebuilder on housing availability, with only very limited options available towards the end of 2020.
Covid influx welcome?
Recently, The Property Tribune spoke with Jennifer Macquarie about real estate in regional New South Wales, and the challenges people faced.
Regional real estate was already feeling the pressure on affordability and land availability, and now with the regional push due to Covid, the issue was significantly amplified.
“You have farmers who can’t harvest their crops, you have tourism businesses who can’t find a barista to make the coffees or serve the wine at the cellar door, simply because those workers can’t afford to live in the area,” Ms Macquarie said.
“My husband is in radiography, and they’re considered key workers. He recently lost a radiographer to Canberra because she couldn’t afford to live in Bowral… aged care, health care, child care workers, so many can’t afford to live in the more popular regional towns anymore and we can’t afford to lose them.”
The dynamics of Kalgoorlie seem quite different, Mr Briers said. The feeling in the mining town was “extremely positive” and that there seemed to be an influx of people moving from interstate.
“This expected population growth should answer the prayers of many business owners who are desperate for additional employees, which will keep things moving in a positive direction for the region.”
Elliot Briers, Kalgoorlie Metro Property Group
As we know, Kalgoorlie is somewhat beholden to the resources sector.
“The demand for local labour by the large corporations who have mining operations in the Goldfields, remains pivotal in dictating the volatile local population and the flow on for local property demand/supply,” said Mr Briers.
Some context to Kalgoorlie-Boulder
Kalgoorlie-Boulder is a regional town with relatively low land prices; historically, there tended to be a strong demand for the larger blocks from 800m2+.
The city is also relatively “landlocked” by mining leases or native title land holdings, said Mr Briers, and there has been a gradual shift to more medium density development.
“Developers have more-and-more had the backing of the local Council, with residential land zonings gradually increasing over time,” said Mr Briers.
There is currently a new proposed Local Planning Scheme making its way through the local council which could see even more land holdings having their development capabilities increased.
While Kalgoorlie is markedly different to other regional areas due to its role in the resources sector, it is an interesting contrast to other regional areas which have considerable misgivings about medium density.
Ms Macquarie said the concern about small blocks and small houses could be due to local ideals of what a regional town should be.
“What I think people really don’t want is Sydney style urban sprawl. It really changes the character of a town and I can understand that, having grown up in the same kind of towns,” said Ms Macquarie.
“It has evolved into an anti-development sentiment. When you actually talk to people and drill down, it’s not so much anti-development but anti-the-wrong-development and anti-development that’s going to change the town into something that’s more like Sydney.”
Mr Briers noted about Kalgoorlie that “there have been grouped housing options for the accommodation of people, for as long as mining has operated in the region. However, it has only really been the last ten years which has seen the ‘townhouse product’ sneak its way onto the local housing market.”
“This new housing stock is now appealing to those who are after a ‘low maintenance/lock-up and leave’ property which fits their lifestyle.”
Asking Prices for Kalgoorlie, 6430
Asking Prices for Boulder, 6432
Stock on market for sale in Kalgoorlie, 6430
Stock on market for sale in Boulder, 6432
SQM Data shows Kalgoorlie (postcode 6430) prices have been steady for some time, sitting between $300,000 and $400,000 for over a decade for all property types, with three-bedroom houses closer to the $300,000 mark.
Domain data puts an average three-bedroom house at around $280,000, with two bedrooms at $218,000 and four bedrooms at $363,000. Realestate.com.au showed similar figures, two bedrooms at $285,000. Three bedrooms at $280,000 and four bedrooms at $365,000.
SQM data shows the number of property listings is slowly recovering from the Covid dip, the latest figures show 381 properties listed, with the Covid low only some forty properties fewer.
Both SQM Research and Domain data show Kalgoorlie to be relatively youthful, with the median age between 20 and 40 years old. SQM data shows the median age to be four years younger than the rest of the state.
Domain data said that owner to renter ratio is roughly 51% to 49%.
What do buyers and sellers want?
The majority of buyers Mr Briers deals with are buying with a view to build.
“This being the case, the hype that has come from Perth and the South-West, in relation to extended building timeframes and rising costs is constantly at the forefront,” he said.
Unlike Perth, the South-West, and indeed many other parts of Australia, Kalgoorlie doesn’t seem to be suffering from the same magnitude of trade shortages and building timeframe blowouts.
While construction is still taking longer and costing more, Mr Briers said “the builders within the region seem to have held out quite well with the built-up demand following the Government Building Grant Stimulus.”
Those selling are doing what most across Australia are doing: trying to cash in on significant rises in land values over the past 12 months.
Kalgoorlie Metro is a client of The Property Tribune parent company, Living Online.