Port Hedland - Western Australia’s Most Unaffordable Regional Town?

Now we can’t know this for sure, but Port Hedland is definitely up there in the running.

Port Hedland is situated in the States North-West, around 1,600kms north of Perth. Many of us know it as a hub for our states beloved mining and resource sector, with many of the world’s largest corporations basing their operations in and around the Port. These companies include BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group and Hancock, just to name a few.

The Town of Port Hedland LGA encompasses the residential towns of Port Hedland, South Hedland and the rural locality of Boodarie, however, the following analysis is going to touch on the Port Hedland townsite and the rental market specifically.

The stats:

  • Median house price: $750,000 with an annual sales growth of 21%.
  • Median rental price: $1,200 per week with an annual rental growth of 20%.

It is also worth noting that the proportion of rentals to owner occupied homes in Port Hedland is at 84.5% as reported by REIWA. It is interesting to compare what can be rented in Port Hedland in comparison to what can be rented in well regarded suburbs that we know in Perth. Some examples below:

Detached Dwellings

7 Nicholls Retreat, Port Hedland

Year built: 1988
Size of land: 752 sqm
Size of living area: 144 sqm
Bedroom/bathroom: 4×2
Rent per week: $1,700

25A Saunders Street, Swanbourne

Year built: 2003
Size of land 500 sqm
Size of living area: 230 sqm
Bed / bathroom: 3 x 2 +a pool
Rent per week: $1,500


3/5 Corney Street, Port Hedland

Year built: 1970
Size of living area: 73 sqm
Bed / bathroom: 2 x 1 – no facilities
Rent per week: $760

22/1 Stadium Drive, Floreat

Year built: 2017
Size of living area: 83 sqm
Bed / bathroom: 2 x 2 + gym, games room, residents lounge
Rent per week: $680

(Source: Rpdata and realestate.com)

So why are people paying so much to live in Port Hedland?

There are a variety of factors that come in to play here, but at its core, this all comes down to the age-old tale of supply and demand.

  • Increasing activity in surrounding industry is resulting in an increase in job opportunities and thus a high level of migration into town. Increasing population is absorbing available stock.
  • Construction costs and the stress on the construction industry is significantly slowing/halting development of new residences.
  • Social issues in nearby towns are resulting in premiums being paid to live in the better regarded Port Hedland locality.
  • Corporate tenants able to out-bid the general population for quality stock.

Currently rental vacancy is below 1%, with merely 15 properties available for rent in Port Hedland as at 17th March 2023.

These effects on the rental market are continuing to put upward pressures on sales prices and with industry in the Pilbara continuing to grow, these pressures do not seem to be easing any time soon.

Jessica Ayerst
Associate Director
— Perth Property Valuers
  |  LinkedIn
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