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Regions continue to outpace cities – but which areas are topping the profit ladder?

By Bianca Dabu 18 May 2021 | 1 minute read

Regional markets have continued their winning streak, with property values growing at twice the pace seen across the capital cities in the last 12 months, new data has revealed.

Regions continue to outpace cities – but which areas are topping the profit ladder?

Regional housing market values surged 13 per cent over the last 12 months to April 2021, far outpacing the 6.4 per cent growth recorded across the capitals, new research from CoreLogic has revealed.

According to its latest quarterly regional market update, of the major regional markets, NSW’s RichmondRichmond, SA Richmond, VIC Richmond, NSW Richmond, TAS Richmond, NSW-Tweed took the top spot for capital gains across both the house and unit markets, rising by 21.9 per cent and 15.5 per cent year-on-year, respectively.

CoreLogic’s research director, Tim Lawless, is not surprised by the fast-paced growth in the regions on the back of increasing demand for lifestyle oriented properties and holiday homes, as well as the increasing popularity of remote and flexible working arrangements.

“Playing into the lifestyle trend, it’s no surprise to see the Richmond-Tweed area topping the list for capital gains over the past 12 months. This region includes high-profile beachside destinations such as Byron Bay, Suffolk Park and Lennox Heads as well as popular hinterland villages such as Bangalow,” Mr Lawless said.

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But with increasing attention comes rapid price growth.

In fact, median house values in the Byron council area’s sit at $1.4 million, slightly higher than Greater Sydney’s $1.147 million.

On the other hand, Western Australia’s region of Bunbury recorded the worst price growth over the last 12 months, with house values increasing by a slim 3 per cent and unit values dropping by 4.4 per cent.

But despite lacklustre value growth, Bunbury topped the ladder for the number of house sales, with sales volumes jumping an impressive 51.4 per cent over the year to February 2021, followed by Central Queensland with a 48.4 per cent growth in sales volumes and NSW-based New England and North West with a hike of 45.1 per cent. Central Queensland won over the unit market with sales increasing by 76 per cent.

Meanwhile, the region of Launceston and the North East, located in Tasmania, stood as the only region to see a decline in house sales of 10.1 per cent.

Looking at days on market, Victoria’s Ballarat was the quickest selling region for houses over the year to April 2021, with the median time on market at just 24 days. On the other hand, Tasmania’s Launceston and North East saw the shortest days on market for units at 24 days.

In contrast, the region with the longest days on market for houses was NSW’s New England and North West region with 84 days, while the region of Central Queensland saw units spend as much as 92 days on the market.

Regional appeal

As for affordability, while some regional markets have surpassed capital city median values, affordability remains an incentive across most of regional Australia, Mr Lawless said.

“In April, there was a $247,400 difference between the median value of capital city dwellings and regional dwellings,” he said.

Looking ahead, Mr Lawless expects a continued growth across regional markets as demand rises above average levels, particularly in markets “close enough to capital cities to provide a commuting option, and those lifestyle markets that are popular with sea and tree changers”.

However, this growth may not be good news for everyone, according to the researcher.

“While surging values are probably good news for home owners in these regions, for those that don’t own a home, affordability is being stretched.

“Particularly for long-time locals whose incomes are unlikely to be rising at anywhere near the pace of house price appreciation, they may be forced to seek out housing options further afield,” Mr Lawless concluded.

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Regions continue to outpace cities – but which areas are topping the profit ladder?
Regions continue to outpace cities – but which areas are topping the profit ladder?
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