Top 10 Regional Growth Areas Revealed


The value of development in eight of Australia’s top 10 regional growth areas will exceed the billion-dollar-plus mark this year as buyers look to more affordable options.

The PRD Stand Out Regions report ranked locations around the country according to median price affordability along with indicators for property investment, local employment growth and sustainable economic futures.

Sea-change locations the Whitsundays (Qld) and Port Stephens (Vic) along with the historic charm of Greater Bendigo (Vic) were named in the report as among the best places for residential opportunity.

These locations also had a rental vacancy of 0.4-1.5 per cent at the end of 2020 compared to 1.8-4.7 per cent in city areas according to the report.

Top 10 affordable regional areas

RankLocationDevelopment Value 2021Residential Projects Commencing 2021
1Whitsunday, Qld$1.49bn514 lots, 216 dwellings
2Mackay, Qld$1.11bn914 lots, 6 dwellings
3Toowoomba$1.36bn381 lots, 230 dwellings
4 Port Stephens, NSW$1.36bn61 lots 43 dwellings
5Greater Hume Region, NSW$578m32 lots, 0 dwellings
6Federation, NSW$1.12bn0 lots, 0 dwellings
7Greater Bendigo City, Vic$1.21bn1,858 lots, 89 dwellings
8Greater Geelong, Vic$7.52bn2,519 lots, 5,490 dwellings
9Warrnambool, Vic$591m0 lots, 68 dwellings
10Circular Head, Tas$1.43bn0 lots, 0 dwellings

^Source: PRD Stand Out Regions report

Despite the residential potential in these regions, a large portion of the development growth was due to commercial, infrastructure and industrial projects set to start in 2021.

This included solar farms, new commercial hubs and transport links which will further improve liveability in the regions.

“Regional areas have become the most attractive option throughout 2020, with evidence of buyers capitalising on lower median property prices,” the PRD Stand Out Regions report said.

“In the December quarter of 2020, all capital cities saw a surge in price growth annually, with the weighted average Australian median house price increasing by 6 per cent to $825,205.

“The national median family weekly income grew by 1.8 per cent over the same period, but was not on-par with median house price growth, resulting in the home affordability index decreasing by -1.8 per cent.”

Along with topping the regional affordability charts, Queensland is experiencing huge demand with unit rent going above Melbourne prices in Brisbane this year and the broader market on the cusp of a boom.

Meanwhile, the state's government and councils are seeking new greenfield development sites.

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