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Published on July 30th, 2012

WA: Mining and resources boom continues, housing market remains flat

While house and unit prices in Western Australia’s mining towns are continuing to rise, it is not an indication of how well the rest of the state is performing, according to Elders WA state franchise manager Sean Connors.

Mr Connors said that towns in the Pilbara such as Karratha and Dampier were attracting higher rents than other parts of Western Australia – a result driven mostly by miners who are keen to set up a base near work.

"In places like Karratha, which is a little mining town up in the north of the Pilbara, you are seeing properties listed for $800,000 generating $2,000 a week in rent," he explained. "These are really astonishing figures."

But with reports suggesting that investment in mining may be winding back, it is important to take stock of how the state's major cities and population centres are performing.

Despite competitive housing and one of the fastest growing economies in the country, Mr Connors said low consumer confidence was having an impact on sales volumes in these areas.

He said that addressing consumer was now a top priority for agents across the state. many of whom are struggling to make headway in a flat market.

"Consumer confidence is the number one issue in WA – and it is something that can be hard to gage given the number of factors that can influence how people think." 

Despite this, it is clear to most experts that the rollouts of the carbon and mining and resources taxes have had an impact on buyer habits.

But according to Connors they won't be enough to delay investment in housing in the long term and there is growing evidence to suggest that sales figures will improve in the next two to three years.

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