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New property 'phenomenon' you can cash in on as prices boom in these 6 regions

Most of the standout regional areas were in Western Australia and Queensland.

Regional Australia property values are outperforming the capital cities, despite the normalisation of migration trends after Aussies flocked to the regions during the pandemic.

CoreLogic’s latest Regional Market Update found regional property values increased 1.2 per cent in the three months to January, compared to capital cities, which saw a 1.0 per cent growth over the same period.

Although the rate of growth across the combined regions has now eased, it follows a regional “boom” that was driven by people moving out of the cities during the pandemic, along with the affordability of regional areas.

Bundaberg houses and open home property sign. Regional property prices.
Bundaberg is one of six areas which has had an annual growth of 10 per cent or more for property values. (Source: Getty)

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For example, Richmond-Tweed - which includes Byron, Ballina and Tweed Heads - saw its house values surge 51 per cent during the pandemic.

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“Outside of the pandemic growth between 2020 and 2022, the outperformance of regional markets relative to the capital cities is a fairly new phenomenon,” CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said.

“The more recent trend, where growth in regional housing values has outpaced the capital cities, is attributable to a slowdown in capital city growth rates rather than an acceleration in regional growth.”

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Regional growth spots

Many of the standout regional areas were located in Western Australia and Queensland, the report found.

Only six of the 50 areas analysed recorded an annual increase of 10 per cent or more, including Western Australia’s Bunbury (up 15.8 per cent), Central Queensland’s Bundaberg (up 12 per cent) and Rockhampton (up 12 per cent).

“These areas have a diverse economic base and are generally supported by a mixture of agriculture, tourism, ports and mining,” Lawless said.

“They’re the only states with a positive rate of interstate migration that helps support housing demand, and they’re relatively affordable markets.”

Top 6 regional growth areas:

  1. Bunbury, WA - up 15.8 per cent to $532,054

  2. Bundaberg, Qld - up 12 per cent to $479,739

  3. Rockhampton, Qld - up 12 per cent to $409,814

  4. Gold Coast - Tweed Heads, Qld - up 11.3 per cent to $928,498

  5. Albany, WA - up 11.2 per cent to $529,980

  6. Townsville, Qld - up 10.1 per cent to $416,966

Annual declines were recorded across 11 regional markets in Victoria, Tasmania and NSW, with the coastal town of Batemans Bay recording the largest annual decline (down 5.8 per cent).

Lawless expects regional cities in the “sweet spot”, with commuting options to a capital city, lifestyle dividend and affordable housing, will experience stronger demand than pre-COVID.

“In contrast, the performance of more remote regional markets will hinge on local economic factors, with infrastructure projects impacting housing demand, and climate, weather, currency flows, and policies affecting farming or coastal areas,” he said.

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