Port Hedland’s voluntary buyback program sees first contracts signed but not all residents are satisfied
A dozen homes have been sold in Port Hedland under a voluntary buyback program due to health concerns, but not all residents are happy with the prices offered.
- Around ten real estate sales contracts were signed as part of the buyback program last month
- Over 400 West End properties are eligible for the program
- Some residents are still concerned about the prices offered for the houses
The government of Western Australia, on behalf of local industry, is proposing to buy out the residents of the city’s historic district to reduce the number of people living next to the dust-polluted harbor.
More than 400 homes are eligible for the scheme and during the last month, 12 sales contracts were signed.
West End resident Tighe O’Donoghue said he was surprised many people signed up.
Mr. O’Donoghue bought his home on Sutherland Street in the West End in September 2017 for $ 525,000.
The buyback offers are based on 2019 property prices, with indexation and a 35% premium.
Mr O’Donoghue said he rejected an offer of $ 859,248 under the program.
“We also spent just under $ 200,000 on renovations which added value to the property that we believe is not reflected in the offer.”
The latest data from the Real Estate Institute of WA shows that house prices in Hedland are up 41% from a year ago.
“We have old people, young investors, people who bought at the wrong time during the last boom,” Mr. O’Donoghue said.
“We have until the end of 2023 to try to fight or try to change anything in the current buyback program.”
Minister says program is “on track”
The company responsible for administering the buyback program, Hedland Maritime Initiative (HMI), said 68% of eligible owners had participated in the process and given options to owners.
“HMI recognizes that every property owner has unique circumstances and we are available to discuss their specific needs and offer them support by providing accurate and timely information,” said Managing Director Karlene Bylund.
Ports and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said the project was “on track”.
“I know not everyone is 100% satisfied, but there seems to be a movement when it comes to who has settled some of their transactions,” she said.
“It’s a voluntary acquisition so I think the activity has been strong.