Sustainability of Regions’ Runaway Price Growth Under Microscope


The longevity of Australia’s regional residential boom will depend on credit, affordability and working policies as seven regions record growth in excess of 30 per cent.

The top-performing regions for the 12 months to October 31 were generally coastal or lifestyle properties within two hours of a capital city, according to Corelogic’s regional market update.

The report found that the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven region in NSW led regional house price growth at 35.9 per cent followed by NSW’s Richmond-Tweed and the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

However, not all areas were winners with Townsville, Queensland recording the lowest growth rate at just 8 per cent, compared to the national average of 21.6 per cent.

For units, Queensland’s Wide Bay region recorded an annual growth rate of 29.2 per cent closely followed by the Sunshine Coast at 29.1 per cent.

Top 10 performing regions for house and unit price growth

1Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven NSW 35.9%Wide Bay Qld 29.2%
2Richmond-Tweed NSW 32.8%Sunshine Coast Qld 29.1%
3Sunshine Coast Qld 32.3%Geelong Vic 27.8%
4Newcastle and Lake Macquarie NSW 31.3%Hume Vic 27.7%
5Gold Coast Qld 31.3% Launceston and North East Tas 26.7%
6Launceston and North East Tas 31.2%Richmond-Tweed NSW 25.8%
7Hunter Valley (exc Newcastle) NSW 30.3%Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven NSW 24.4%
8Illawarra NSW 28.8%Gold Coast Qld 24.4%
9Mid North Coast NSW 27.5%Capital Region NSW 24.0%
10Latrobe Vic 25.3%Mid North Coast NSW 23.1%

^Source: Corelogic regional home value index October 2021

Tight stock also influenced prices and the time on the market, with properties on the Gold Coast selling in just 18 days, compared to the New England and North-West NSW where houses took 62 days to sell.

CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said there had been a broad demographic shift during the pandemic but the regions would still be constrained by similar factors as capital cities.

“If housing values across regional parts of the country continue to outpace the capitals, the obvious outcome will be that regional markets lose their affordability advantage,” Lawless said.

“We can already see this trend taking shape in some of the most popular regional coastal markets such as Byron Bay, where median house values are $1.7 million, and Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, where median house values are $1.2 million, much higher than comparable capital city values.”

The big four banks have predicted house prices in capital cities would drop in 2023 by up to 10 per cent, however, this was before the latest Covid variant of concern had been identified.


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