Mandurah population growth helps stem price decline

The much-besieged Western Australian regional town of Mandurah has claimed the title of Australia’s fastest-growing district, adding 2,805 residents at a rate 3.38% over the last year, according to the latest ABS population estimates

Mandurah, 72 kilometres south of Perth, has attracted headlines of all the wrong kind of late.

It is rated among the 20 worst-performing suburbs across the country in terms of mortgage delinquency rates, according to Fitch Ratings.

Mandurah owners and investors who purchased premium waterfront apartments off the plan during the height of boom are now desperately trying offload them, a report on Perth Now claims.

But strong population growth appears to have helped keep Mandurah house price declines in check.

House prices have fallen by 2.8% over the year to March 2011, according to the REIA Market Facts.

This is significantly smaller than 6.5% yearly price declines recorded for Perth.

According to the ABS figures, Mandurah now has 85,814 people.

From 2005 to 2010 its population has grown at annual growth rate of 4.34%. In June 2005, the town’s population was estimated at 69,407.

The opening of the Perth-Mandurah railway line in December 2007 sparked the initial boom, with the town growing from an isolated fishing community to the second-biggest city in WA and attracting a wave of investors and coastal developments.

Second behind Mandurah is the fellow WA town of Bunbury (growth of 3.25% for the last year, 4.18% annually over the last five years), followed by four Queensland districts – Hervey Bay (3.24%), Cairns (2.59%), Mackay (2.42%) and Tweed (2.40%) on the Gold Coast.

Over the last five years Hervey Bay has had the fastest annual growth of 4.73%, adding 12,547 residents to the coastal town near Fraser Island.

Perth’s recorded the greatest population increase of all the capital cities, increasing by 2.26% for the year to June 2010 and at an annual rate 2.68% from 2005 to 2010 to currently stand at 1,696,065.

Darwin’s population is up 2.1% to 127,532 and has grown at the fastest annual rate over the last five years of 2.77%.

Of the big east coast cities, Melbourne has grown fastest over the 12 months to June 2010, adding 79,014 people (1.98%) for a total of 4,077,036, followed by Brisbane (up 1.94%, or 38,960people), which now has 2,043,185 people, and Sydney (up 1.68%, or 75,644 people), which now has 4,575,532 people.

Adelaide’s population is up 1.27% to 1,203,186, Canberra is up 1.78% to 358,222 and Hobart has grown by 1.27% to 214,705.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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