pilbara houses
$500 can get you any of these rentals in northern WA. Images – LJ Hooker.
  • Average rent across the capital cities is $556 for houses and $411 for units
  • In northern WA, it is more than $600 for houses and $450 for units
  • House and unit prices yet to hit the levels seen during the last mining boom

According to SQM Research, the average rent across the capital cities as of May 2021 is $556 for houses and $411 for units.

A surge in the iron ore price fueled by China’s roaring economy – which has grown a whopping 18% over the past year – has significantly impacted the rental market in northern Western Australia, the home of much of Australia’s iron ore industry.

The weekly rent in northern WA fell between 2014 and 2016 after peaking in July 2014 for $1,000 a week for houses and $750 for units.

The period between 2016 and early 2020 saw rentals for both types of dwellings remain at a fairly stable level with a low of $416 for houses and $334 for units, significantly off their previous levels. Rent had more than halved since the last mining boom ended around 2013/14.

Since 2016, rentals have slid upwards again, but it is yet to hit the levels experienced in the early 2010s – currently over $600 for houses and $450 for units according to SQM Research.

Asking rent prices in Northern WA

In light of this, we thought it would be appropriate to see what $500 can get you in the mining towns. The answer is, simply, not a lot…

A unit in Dampier?

$500 a week is the asking price for a small three-bedroom by one-bathroom unit in Dampier, located 20 kilometres west of the mining centre of Karratha.

According to the listing, the unit is the only occupied one in the complex, providing plenty of seclusion.

Image: LJ Hooker
Image: LJ Hooker

Okay, what about Roebourne?

$500 is more than enough for this three-bedroom by one-bathroom house in Roebourne, which is on the market for $460. Roebourne is 38 kilometres south of Karratha and 202 kilometres west of Port Hedland (where most of the iron ore is then shipped to China).

At the time of publication, this is the only property listed for rent in Robourne, according to realestate.com.au.

Image: North West Realty
roebourne kitchen
Image: North West Realty

…and Karratha?

This three-by-one house in Pegs Creek, a western suburb of Karratha is currently on the market for $450 a week.

pegs creek
Image: Ray White Karratha
pegs creek kitchen
Image: Ray White Karratha

um…Port Hedland?

Port Hedland is also currently undergoing a rental shortage, with only a handful of houses and units listed. This one-by-one unit near the coast is currently on the market for $400 per week.

Image: Ray White Port Hedland
Image: Ray White Port Hedland

Across the region, since 2016, available rental properties have fallen from around 1,300 to less than 200 today, according to SQM Research data…

Stock of Rental Listings – Northern WA

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