South West Timber Town Hits the Silver Screen
The South-West township of Pemberton will be the next regional area celebrated on screen when the feature film adaptation of Australian-novel Jasper Jones
opens in cinemas this month.
The historic timber town was chosen as the setting for the fictional town Corrigan for the film – starring internationally recognised actors Hugo Weaving and Toni Collette - because of its preservation of mid-20th
century architecture and street scapes: a fitting backdrop to the 1960s-era storyline.
With the launch of Jasper Jones last week, Pemberton is poised to join other regional areas that have enjoyed added exposure through film including the Pilbara (Red Dog),
Broken Hill (Priscilla Queen of the Desert)
, Coolangatta and Hamilton Island (Muriel’s Wedding
). On the small screen, the actual addresses of Sydney’s Palm Beach and Barwon Heads in Victoria grew in profile thanks to their fictional representations in Home and Away
LJ Hooker Pemberton Principal Colin Wallbank said Jasper Jones
would further propel the exposure of the town, which had already recorded a surge in median house prices and a scarcity of rental vacancy rates.
According to CoreLogic data, Pemberton – a four-hour drive south of Perth - recorded a median house sale price of $265,000 over the previous 12 months. The lack of listings in the township increased the median price by 47.2% in the past 12 months.
“We only have two per cent of our rent roll available at the moment, and rental yields are averaging between five and seven per cent for landlords,” said Mr Wallbank.
“Pemberton has had a pretty strong period of growth over the last two years due to its affordability and the demand from buyers looking outside capital cities for yield.
“We’ve had a lot of young families moving to the area to raise their children, taking up rental properties firstly so they can learn more about the area and where they’d like to live.”
Mr Wallbank’s wife and property manager, Karen, said there had been an increase in services workers to the area from Perth.
“Lately we’ve seen firefighters, teachers and others coming to the area, joining the established workforce from the Department of Parks and Wildlife, shire council, tourism operators and the farming sector,” said Mrs Wallbank.
“We have a lot of Grey Nomads come down this way as well and we’ve just come to the end of the marron season, which attracted a lot of people every weekend.”
Mrs Wallbank said there were outstanding investment opportunities in Pemberton, including a three bedroom, one-bathroom home on a quarter acre block, calling for offers over $250,000 and tenanted at $255 per week.
“It’s really hard to get that sort of yield in a capital city, and the majority of our tenants here are long term renters; it’s common for them to stay in the same rental property for up to five years.”