It lacks the beaches. It doesn’t have an Opera House. And every couple of years a cyclone sweeps through the area.
But, just a few years ago, the median price for a house in the Pilbara city of Karratha in the far north-west of Western Australia eclipsed that of Sydney.
The epicentre of a decade-long resources boom, Karratha is an example of what happens when a housing boom really turns to bust.
In 2001, the median house price was $200,000 in this isolated part of WA. Seven years later it had reached $700,000, before inching its way to $820,000 in the March quarter of 2014. Sydney’s median that quarter was $790,000.