House prices in Margaret River have skyrocketed in value during the past 12 months. The latest Real Estate Institute of WA figures reported a 20 per cent jump in median values in Margaret River and 20.3 per cent across the whole shire since September 2021. The rampant climb in values comes as listings dry up, increasing competition, with rents for unlucky tenants increasing by about the same amount, coming in at 21.7 per cent growth during the same period. However, REIWA reported rents across the shire as a whole dropped 18.2 per cent, despite the widely reported housing crisis and residents forced to move for lack of rentals. While house prices were up, listings dropped by almost the reverse amount. The numbers for homes sold in Margaret River dropped 23 per cent in the past 12 months and 24 per cent across the district. The median value of a Margaret River home was $600,000 in September, and $622,500 when the shire was assayed as a whole. The news came amid a heralded outcome for the wider South West, with Bunbury’s property market resilient in the face of widespread falls in house prices in other areas, spurred by seven consecutive rate rises. A PropTrack Market Insight Report, released on last week, saw Bunbury record 9.14 per cent annual price growth. The latest REIWA figures had Bunbury and Busselton pushing the strongest WA growth just ahead of the Augusta-Margaret River result. Busselton posted a 22.3 per cent 12-month growth figure ahead of the Margaret River result. REIWA president and Dunsborough realtor Joe White said FIFO workers attracted to the lifestyle and the chance to fly out of Busselton were the biggest factor. “Busselton has been a consistently strong performer over the past few years, both quarterly and annually, which is driven by population growth,” he said. “There is also an increase in the work-from-home/microbusiness trend; the idea of having to live where you work has changed significantly post-COVID. “In this field, we’re seeing a lot of growth in the 25-35 age bracket who are choosing to enjoy the South West lifestyle.” Mr White said Bunbury also attracted FIFO buyers, but its growth related more to its position as a major employment centre. Bunbury was also increasingly attracting medical personnel to serve its two hospitals, with major expansions forecast.