Chateau cheaper than unit in Perth

Kim Macdonald

WA's high cost of property has been highlighted by a glut of cheap chateaux and castles in France and other parts of Europe, which are selling for the same price as a 1970s-style Perth unit.

The tumbling euro and France's struggling economy have helped to halve the cost of the average eight-bedroom castle in south-west France in the past 15 years, according to British newspaper the Times.

But in a similar period, WA's median house price has more than doubled, up from $192,000 in 2002 to the current median of $550,000.


PERTH

A two-bedroom in Tuart Hill is on the market for $385,000-$405,000.

This two-bedroom unit in Tuart Hill is on the market for $385,000-$405,000.

First-homebuyers in the metropolitan area have suffered the most from this price rise, with the median cost in the entry-level market currently at $453,000.

Although direct comparisons between countries can never be exact because of variations in average wage levels and the cost of living, the European market has broadly highlighted just how expensive real estate is in Perth.

A six-bedroom castle in France, set amid 8000sqm of parkland near Limoges, is selling for less than the cost of a two-bedroom unit in Tuart Hill.

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PERUGIA

Casa mia: Fancy a change of scenery? How this Italian getaway in Perugia for $409,000?

12th Century tower in Perugia, near Trasimeno Lake in Italy.

12th Century tower - $409,000.

A website for Prestige Properties shows similar bargains in Italy and Poland, among other continental countries.

Real Estate Institute of WA president David Airey conceded WA was expensive by global standards, particularly with homeowners paying a much greater proportion of their income on mortgage repayments than their peers across the globe. He said it was simply a matter of supply and demand.

"Australia is very expensive by international standards because we tend to push up the cost of popular suburbs, like those near the coast," he said.


BRITTANY

French country life awaits: $275,000 will buy a five-bedroom renovated water mill on 33,000sqm land in Morbihan, Brittany.

Renovated water mill in Brittany.