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Bargain homes: Where to find ‘cheapie’ property hotspots

Clockwise: Kwinana, Perth; Ipswich City, Queensland; Mackay, Queensland; and Latrobe Valley, Victoria. (Source: Getty)
Clockwise: Kwinana, Perth; Ipswich City, Queensland; Mackay, Queensland; and Latrobe Valley, Victoria. (Source: Getty)

Savvy home-buyers and property investors hoping to get value for money will find plenty of opportunities in both city and regional areas.

And while it’s worth every investor’s while to do their own due diligence, Hotspotting managing director Terry Ryder has crunched the numbers to deliver the areas where you can find affordable property.

According to Ryder, here’s where you should set your sights in 2020:

Capital city areas

1. Moreton Bay Region, Brisbane

This area is Brisbane’s busiest metropolitan property market, said Ryder, with an annual growth rate of 2.8 per cent.

It’s “spurred by high levels of infrastructure spending and attractive housing affordability,” he added.

“This is attracting interstate migrants, first-home buyers and investors to the area, driving strong demand for housing.”

2. Salisbury, Adelaide

Adelaide is cementing its position as a key defence sector hub and is bringing with it new jobs.

“The City of Salisbury is going through a mini-construction boom as medium-scale projects generate thousands of jobs, driving the economy forward into 2020,” said Ryder.

“Proximity to major employment nodes is a key part of the Salisbury appeal. Food and beverage manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, defence, cybersecurity and space are emerging industries in the area, attracting businesses and generating jobs.”

3. Kwinana, Perth

The property market of Western Australia’s capital city is showing signs of recovery: vacancies are down and rent is rising again, according to the property expert.

“After several years of downturn, Perth offers a higher level of affordability than other capital cities - and this precinct is the cheapest of all the Perth residential markets,” he said.

“The Kwinana precinct has much to offer home-buyers and investors, its standout features being affordability, good yields, falling vacancies and population growth. Indeed, this is the cheapest precinct in the Perth metro area, with several suburbs having median house prices in the $200,000s.”

4. Ipswich City, Brisbane

This Brisbane-based area is attracting steady buyer demand thanks to affordability and close proximity to job hubs.

“Several billion-dollar enterprises across the commercial, residential, defence and transport sectors are bolstering the local economy, delivering infrastructure and generating jobs,” said Ryder.

“Ipswich has shown strong price growth in the past – prices rose strongly in the five years to 2009, giving Ipswich City the highest capital growth averages in the Greater Brisbane region. This market is poised for another period of growth.”

5. Darwin, Northern Territory

This city is set to see significant job-creating projects, injecting fresh hope into the local property market. “But it will take time for these to reach the construction phase,” Ryder cautioned.

New projects include a $200 million Darwin City Deal, as well as a ship lift project and a potential $400 million injection from the US military on upgrading navy and airforce facilities.

“Darwin needs these developments to move into the construction phase to re-generate the NT economy, create demand in the Darwin market, stem the negative pricing trends and reduce the high vacancy rates,” said Ryder.

“Now, while property prices are low, is the time for investors to act. Following several years of price decline, rental yields are well above average.”

Regional areas

6. Bendigo, Victoria

This city which was once a gold rush town is one of Australia’s leading growth markets and attracts buyers from Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, according to Ryder.

“Bendigo has long been one of Victoria’s key regional centres, with growth thanks to its steady local economy, proximity to Melbourne and good transport links to the capital – especially now with the $5 billion Regional Rail Link operating,” he said.

A redevelopment of the hospital, plans to develop a new residential community, and a $1.3 billion defence contract awarded to Bendigo-based business Thales has improved the city’s economic prospects, he added.

“Market activity picked up markedly in 2018 and continued to thrive in 2019, and prices are now rising in most postcodes.

“The standout features of the Bendigo property market are affordability (houses typically priced below $400,000), strong yields (5 per cent to 5.5 per cent is common) and some of the lowest vacancy rates in the nation (many postcodes are below 1 per cent).”

7. Mackay, central Queensland

This property market has shone in 2019, and was named by leading property market data firm CoreLogic’s one of the best-performing house markets. Similarly, Propertyology recently named Mackay as one of Australia’s underappreciated markets.

“Falling unemployment, rising tourist numbers, an increasing number of large construction projects and the introduction of the Qantas Pilot Training Academy have renewed confidence in the local economy, leading to a reduction in real estate vacancies and a return to growth in prices and rentals,” said Ryder.

“The previous boom in Mackay was heavily driven by mining. This time around, the local economy is carefully gathering impetus on a diversity of industries, not just coal mining. Construction, logistics, agribusiness and tourism are all contributing and providing employment opportunities.”

8. Latrobe Valley, Victoria

Buyer demand in this area is now outstripping supply as investors jostle with owner-occupiers.

“Numerous projects which are generating jobs are under way – the hospital, schools and sporting complexes are being upgraded, a GovHub is being established and unemployment has fallen,” said the Hotspotting managing director.

“With several locations having median house prices below $250,000, affordability is a huge bonus, especially for first-home buyers.

“The appeal is further enhanced by a country lifestyle (for home buyers) and strong rental yields (for investors).”

9. Rockhampton, central Queensland

Things are looking good for Rockhampton, which is recording strong sales numbers, rising rent and low vacancies.

“Rockhampton’s diverse economy is now being boosted by the resources sector with Adani moving into its new business centre and issuing $500 million worth of contracts to local operators.”

Other projects giving a boost to the economy including CBD development and transformation, upgrades to transport routes and major infrastructure projects.

“Rockhampton is also the gateway to Capricorn Coast tourist attractions and a centre for manufacturing, mining and the military.

“Overall, Rockhampton presents as an affordable market with good growth prospects.”

10. Parkes, NSW

This area is “on the cusp of a boom” with major freight companies opening hubs in preparation of connecting to the $10 billion Inland Rail route project, said Ryder.

“Contractors and workers have come to town, contributing to the local economy through both personal and business expenditure.

“The Inland Rail will create better connections for local producers to international markets, bringing jobs and economic benefits to the Central Western Region of New South Wales.”

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