Pilbara propels property mogul
Ryan Crawford. Picture: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Last week, Ryan Crawford sold a house in Redcliffe for $450,000 - a modest deal in the context of the 35-year-old's $32 million property portfolio.

But for Mr Crawford it marked the end of an era: the house was the first he bought and the deal that began his property investor career. "I felt a little bit nostalgic," he said of the sale.

Tenants ditch leases for better deals |

"It seems like a long time ago."

Thirteen years after Mr Crawford handed over a $10,000 deposit for the $110,000 property, his company Crawford Property Group has become a major player in the Pilbara.

Now the company is preparing for a new chapter, last month tapping Sam Barnett, son of Premier Colin Barnett, to drive an expansion of CPG's wealth creation business on the east coast and in China.

"I'm very positive about the Pilbara into the next decade," Mr Crawford said. "Obviously I'd have to be, with all the properties sitting up there."

Pilbara property prices are falling, partly because of the slowdown in mining construction and partly because of efforts to normalise prices.

Average rents in Port Hedland and South Hedland, Karratha and Newman fell for the past three quarters and purchase prices in all three towns fell in the three months to December 31, Pilbara Development Commission figures show.

But Mr Crawford said though the market had changed, he expected Pilbara property returns to be among the strongest in the country for the next decade.

Mr Crawford's path towards becoming a property mogul gained momentum when he moved to Port Hedland in 2004 to pursue business interests and saw how the market was taking off.

The West Australian

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