Katanning tops regional property list

LISA MORRISONGreat Southern Herald

Katanning’s property market has experienced more growth in the past year than anywhere else in regional WA, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of WA.

REIWA’s list of the top 10 regional areas for house price growth, released last Friday, had Katanning at the top with an increase in the average house price of 22.7 per cent in the past financial year, from $160,500 in June 2012 to $202,500 in June 2013.

Katanning is also the fourth- most affordable town in regional WA, behind Merredin, Kambalda West and Rangeway.

However, turnover has dropped from 50 to 44 sales in the same period, and the change to the market in the past five years is a negligible increase of just 3.6 per cent despite the past year’s strong growth.

Elders Real Estate manager Tony Rondoni said the rise was promising and came after a sluggish market over the past seven years.

“In the past four months there has been more activity and a few houses have sold, which has bumped up the average price,” he said.

“Anything under $200,000 sells quickly but above $300,000 just hangs on and on. I sold one just under the $300,000 mark three months ago and that was the highest priced house for quite a while.

“About seven years ago we were selling about 150 houses each year between the real estate agents in town, which has slowed right down, and two years ago the market was shocking, we wouldn’t have sold many houses in Katanning at all.”

Mr Rondoni said recent sales were due to immigrants settling in the town.

“Burmese refugees are entering the market buying houses in the $200,000 price point,” he said.

“There has been little activity in the past year and prices were resting in the lower price bracket between $150,000 and $170,000. The jump to $200,000 is promising and if interest rates drop another half a per cent or so, that will help boost the market further.”

Katanning Shire president Richard Kowald said the town’s growth plan had been directed at attracting more residents.

“Our town planning scheme identifies new residential and industrial areas we hope to be developed over the next year. They are the guidelines developers will look at when they come to town to hopefully build more houses and units for our growing population,” he said.

“I hope that is the reason the REIWA results are what they are and the trend will continue into the future.”

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