Escaping Sydney? Check out these 5 luxury regional destinations

Leaving the big smoke doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality of life.

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With a median house price of $1.34 million, Sydney is a daunting market for new and experienced home buyers alike.

And for those with their sights set on luxury seaside suburbs like Mosman and Avalon Beach, buyers would need to fork out three times that amount for a family home.

All hope is not lost, however. For those willing to relocate to the regions, prestige property can be snapped up for a fraction of the cost.

“Home buyers can find incredible homes well below Sydney’s median price, ensuring a higher quality of life,” said Giordano Stepancic, CEO of lending firm Property Credit.

“We’ve pinpointed some of the best suburbs across the country where home buyers can get more value for their money without compromising on lifestyle.”

Here are five top-tier locations identified in the company’s latest Hidden Gems report.

1. Illawarra

South of Sydney, the Illawarra offers coastal living and access to nature without the hefty price tag.

Suburbs like Helensburgh and Figtree boast convenient access to Sydney and Wollongong, with houses on generous blocks available for markedly lower prices.

“Finding homes under $1.3 million is becoming more challenging, but it remains possible, especially for those looking large blocks and beautiful views,” the report noted.

“The Illawarra’s combination of natural beauty, urban amenities and strong community spirit make it a desirable place to live.”

2. Hunter Valley

Famed for its wineries, the Hunter Valley is just two hours north of Sydney but offers a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The sleepy seaside area of Port Stephens is a particularly attractive destination for regional relocators, with good amenities and easy access to Newcastle Airport.

“Historically, this area experienced significant market cycles driven by impulsive holiday home purchases. However, today’s Port Stephens is much more diverse, attracting not only retirees and weekenders but also a vibrant mix of industries and new residents,” noted the report.

3. Northern Rivers

Further north up the NSW coast, the Northern Rivers is a subtropical dream destination for culture lovers.

Byron Bay, Tweed Heads and Lismore offer move in-ready homes for around $900,000 to $1.2 million, and the region’s balanced market holds opportunities for both buyers and sellers.

With a vibrant arts scene and good education and healthcare facilities, the Northern Rivers is “a desirable place to live and visit”, according to the report.

4. Sunshine Coast

For those keen to cross the Queensland border, the Sunshine Coast combines “natural beauty, sunny climate and dynamic economy”.

The prestige suburb of Buderim is a particularly strong contender for relocators, offering homes in the $1 million to $1.3 million range.

“Buderim’s appeal lies in its strategic location, which grants easy access to stunning beaches, vibrant local amenities, and the major highway for effortless commuting,” stated the report.

An upcoming rail link to Brisbane positions Buderim well for future growth, making the suburb a strong option for investors.

5. Mornington Peninsula

South of Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula blends coastal living and rural charm.

For those after a high-end living experience, Mount Martha is one of the region’s top choices, offering “top-rated schools, boutique shops and gourmet dining options”.

“The suburb is renowned for its stunning coastal views, pristine beaches and high-end homes,” the report noted.

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