Sea or tree change? Find out which investment offers better returns

Capital growth is one of the principal drivers of a good property investment, but which delivers more – tree or sea change? One research analyst initiated a research project to find out. 

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RiskWise Property Research undertook an analysis of popular tree change and sea change areas with, to determine which would deliver stronger price growth.

The results showed that over the past five years, sea change areas delivered more than double the price growth of tree change areas, 43 per cent to 18 per cent. 

RiskWise CEO Doron Peleg said part of this was due to the popularity of beachside areas, which had significantly increased in the past few years.

“Home owners often dream of white picket fences surrounding lush acreage properties or listening to the blue ocean lapping against sandy shores,” he said.


“What appeals to one may not appeal to another. Of course it’s a personal decision, but possibly helping to sway the argument one way or the other is the chance of capital growth.”

Mr Peleg said that many investors consider both these types of areas as investment destinations in which to achieve strong capital growth.

“However, tree change areas in general are significantly more affordable with a median price of $378,000, and sea change, $686,000,” he said.


Mr Peleg said that Byron Bay delivered the strongest price growth of 102 per cent over the past five years, with Terrigal and Kingscliff the two next best performers at 68 per cent and 62 per cent, respectively.

“Bryon Bay was recently identified by RiskWise as one of the Top 7 regions in Australia to retire because it offered good lifestyle options and solid capital growth,” he said.

“However, with a median house price of $1.37 million, where beachside properties cost multimillion-dollars, this area requires very healthy equity.”

Earlier RiskWise found that NSW’s Central Coast will likely see future capital growth due to population growth.

Mr Peleg said the region has delivered “consistently” strong population growth over the past five years.

“The affordability of its properties relative to the rest of the Sydney market has been a major pull factor,” he said.

“We expect this growth trajectory to continue, especially as the growing ageing population and Baby Boomers seek to move to coastal properties.”

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