Covid-19 doesn’t seem to have dampened Australians’ love for property: despite the pandemic, national house prices rose by 3.1 per cent in the 12 months to 30 November 2020.
And according to hotspotting.com.au CEO Terry Ryder, some locations performed strongly across the year precisely because of the pandemic – and will continue to do so in 2021.
“The year of the pandemic has been a very good advertisement for residential property as an asset class,” he said in the Price Predictor Index Summer 2020-21 report.
Also read: 26 money-making suburbs for 2021
One of the biggest property themes that emerged from this year was the mass relocation of people from capital cities to more affordable regional areas.
Many of the suburbs earmarked for growth in 2021 are in lesser-known locations like Western Australia’s Wanneroo, South Australia’s Victor Harbour, and Queensland’s regional hub of Emerald.
“What started as a steady drift of people moving from the big cities to the smaller cities or to regional areas has turned into something approaching a stampede,” said Ryder.
For example, where Sydney had recorded 93 growth markets in the Hotspotting quarterly report, regional NSW recorded 116. The trend was the same with Melbourne and regional Victoria, as well as Brisbane and regional Queensland.
“This trend has been gathering speed for a number of years and has been enhanced by the pandemic period, with its enforced lockdown phases.”
Dubbed the ‘super-charged suburbs’, Hotspotting analysis found a handful of locations to have the strongest growth patterns across several consecutive quarters.
These are the cities are tipped to deliver property price growth next year and beyond:
Terrigal, Central Coast, NSW
At the top of the list is the popular Central Coast holiday hotspot, favoured by Sydney-siders looking for a weekend getaway.
“There are 17 towns or suburbs with rising sales volumes, the highest for any local government area in Australia,” Ryder said.
The median house price in Terrigal has risen an eye-watering 7.5 per cent to $950,000 in the last 12 months, while apartment prices have risen 6 per cent to $810,000.
Victor Harbour, South Australia
Victor Harbour is a shining example of the exodus to an affordable lifestyle, Ryder said, and is booming in popularity thanks to its affordability yet proximity to Adelaide.
“Encounter Bay, Port Elliot and Victor Harbour itself all have strong patterns of increasing sales activity, quarter by quarter, over the past 12-18 months,” he said.
Median house prices in this coastal town have risen by 10 per cent in the last year to $370,000.
Randwick, Sydney, NSW
Once a favourite among property investors, Sydney fell somewhat out of favour during Covid-19 – but a few key pockets, like the eastern suburb of Randwick, have experienced price growth.
Also read: The Aussie city headed for a housing bubble
Median prices for houses and apartments have risen by 14 per cent in the last year, said Ryder.
“Pandemic downturn? What pandemic downturn?
“The long-term capital growth rate is 7 per cent per year – worth considering, for those who can afford $2.6 million for typical houses there.”
Emerald, Central Highlands, Queensland
Areas that were once adversely affected by the resources sector have since bounced back, with Emerald a stand-out example of this.
Median house prices rose by 6.5 per cent to $340,000 across the last year, and vacancies have dropped from some 10 per cent four years ago to below 1 per cent.
Areas to keep an eye out for include Gladstone and Mount Isa.
However, Emerald wasn’t the only area in Queensland that was strongly represented in the report; among Hotspotting’s national top 10 growth markets, five were from Queensland.
These were Brisbane-north’s precinct; Logan; Moreton Bay; Toowoomba; and Sunshine Coast.