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Karratha – Australia’s most affordable town?

Karratha – Australia’s most affordable town? Surely not, some might question, but a recent Demographia Survey confirms it.

The latest survey from Demographia, International Housing Affordability Survey, ranks Karratha as the most affordable among the 51 towns listed. Using data from REIWA and other sources, the survey is based on measuring median property prices against median household incomes.

The somewhat controversial research body states that the area’s median house price remains at $440,000, 2.6 times higher than Karratha’s median annual household income of $171,600.

Now, if you are a Perth local or happen to follow the WA property market, you’ll know just how fluctuated the Pilbara Region’s prices have been in recent years.

In 2013, the area was deemed “severely unaffordable” boasting a median price of $775,000, which was 4.9 times more than the median salary of $156,700.

Karratha’s household income figure has always been high due to the town’s mining economy with iron ore mining being a popular source of employment in the region. Yet, in recent months, employment opportunities in the area are declining as the mining industry moves on from the construction phase to the operational phase.

According to the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia, the area’s labour force is expected to decline by 14,300 workers as close as 2020. This will make way for 17,900 construction jobs to be shed and 3,600 operational workers to be introduced.