Why Broome’s property boom is sign of bigger things to come

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REIWA Kimberley branch chairman Tony Hutchinson said he was confident residential sales levels in Broome were returing to their long-term average.
Camera IconREIWA Kimberley branch chairman Tony Hutchinson said he was confident residential sales levels in Broome were returing to their long-term average. Credit: Broome Advertiser, Glenn Cordingley.

The strong Broome property market shows no sign of slowing anytime soon, according to property guru Tony Hutchinson.

Property prices have jumped as much as 20 per cent in the past year off the back of the surge in tourism and trends in people moving away from major cities, with a Statewide rent crisis also seeing rentals in town almost impossible to come by at times.

REIWA Kimberley chairman Tony Hutchinson said while borders being closed played a major role influencing the surge in demand, there were other, more long-term factors to take into account.

“I don’t think we’ll see house and rent prices drop instantly when borders reopen — obviously over time there will be fluctuations but I don’t think it’s a case of Broome’s growth slowing as soon as borders open,” he said.

“It’s exposed a lot of people to the Broome attractions, people who might not have ever considered it somewhere they would come.

House being built near Catalinas overlooking the mangroves in Broome.
Camera IconHouse being built near Catalinas overlooking the mangroves in Broome. Credit: Broome Advertiser

“The only comparable situation we’ve had in the past is when the Bali bombings happened in 2002 — we had a boom in the tourism industry right through to 2007 or 2008 when the global financial crisis hit.”

Mr Hutchinson said large infrastructure projects coupled with significant interest from industry players such as Kimberley Mineral Sands, who recently announced they would move their planned export hub from Derby to Broome, meant Broome’s outlook beyond the short-term boost from COVID tourism was strong.

“I think we’ve still got a way to go. While prices are up on previous years, they’re nowhere near the levels we saw back in the early 2010s,” he said.

“I would expect another few years of steady growth — nothing as significant as we’ve seen since the start of COVID — but certainly still growth.”

With interest rates not expected to rise for at least a year or two and housing stock at an all-time low, Mr Hutchinson said he believed current market conditions were only the beginning of an upswing in the market curve.

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