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The property markets that are thriving because of Covid-19

Jessica Yun
·5-min read
Sunshine Coast. (Source: Getty)
Sunshine Coast. (Source: Getty)

The coronavirus crisis has ground Australia’s economy into a standstill, stifling property prices along the way – except for some particular regions that are, against all odds, doing better because of the pandemic.

According to hotspotting.com.au founder and Ryder Property managing director Terry Ryder, there are multiple influencing factors behind why a property market might perform strongly – and some property markets have three or more of these tailwinds behind them.

“Some locations have local economies well set up to withstand the negative forces of the virus shutdown period. They’re places where most of their jobs are provided by sectors which are more likely to be hiring than firing during this period,” Ryder said.

“And they’re places which are spending big on new infrastructure.

“Some of them are in our smaller capital cities and others are in key regional centres.”

Australia’s top locations for property buyers seeking capital growth are littered all around the country. According to Ryder, here’s where the top five are:

Sunshine Coast, Queensland

  • Median house price: $400,000 to $850,000

In early 2020, Sunshine Coast was Queensland’s strongest property market and it remains well-positioned to withstand Covid-19 thanks to its strengthening economy and infrastructure spend.

Infrastructure spending boosts property prices by generating jobs, economic activity and improving amenities for locals, according to Ryder. Around 20,000 new jobs have been created in the last five years in this city, and the trend is set to continue.

“With a robust economy that has averaged growth of 4 per cent per year over the last 15 years, well above the national rate, opportunities to invest wisely continue to present themselves.”

The Sunshine Coast benefits from three strongly-performing sectors: tourism, retail, and construction. Enquiry levels into the Sunny Coast come from Victoria, NSW and Brisbane from those wanting a lifestyle change and looking to take advantage of remote work.

Marion, South Australia

  • Median house price: $350,000–$600,000

This city 10km away from Adelaide’s CBD now boasts 30 research, tech and science start-ups, businesses, institutions, a new teaching hospital and a university campus, making it a precinct tipped to emerge strongly from the pandemic.

“The creation of jobs is driving the demand for property, making the City of Marion a strong leader in the Adelaide market, which we regard as the most under-rated in capital city Australia,” said Ryder.

Major transport projects are also improving connectivity and creating further opportunities for businesses.

“The City of Marion offers affordable properties, with many of its markets being priced in the $400,000s, as well as low vacancies (most postcodes are below 1 per cent).

“South Australia is one of the most consistent property markets in Australia, given the steady demand, solid local economy, and housing affordability.”

Bendigo, Victoria

  • Median house price: $300,000–$500,000

Bendigo attracts property buyers from Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra and has also been named by RMIT University as one of Australia’s most liveable regional cities.

Not only that, but PRDnationwide has named it as one of the nation’s most resilient property markets, and its unemployment rate is below the national average.

“The standout features of the Bendigo property market are affordability (houses typically priced below $400,000), good price growth across many suburbs, strong yields (4.5 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).”

The city’s strongest feature is its “steady local economy,” close proximity to Melbourne as well as strong transport links to the Victorian capital. Its strongest economic sectors are retail; financial institutions; the manufacturing and mining sector; as well as agriculture, tourism and education.

Badgery’s Creek Precinct, NSW

  • Median house price: $580,000–$760,000

This Western Sydney hub is already well-known for being the site of the Western Sydney Airport, and is already slated to become an “economic powerhouse”. The NSW government has already given the green light on two major construction projects on top of four already underway that will create a combined 16,052 new jobs.

The region will also feature an international university and education precinct, a wellness and healthcare centre, a Westfield shopping centre, and a hi-tech logistics hub, said Ryder.

“This constitutes a massive new jobs node and the availability of employment opportunities will drive big demand for housing accommodation nearby. Billions are being spent on road and rail infrastructure to cater for a population that is predicted to swell to around 300,000 by 2036,” he said.

“Suburbs that are strategically located near the airport development are likely to benefit from the evolution of this precinct through rising property prices. Relative affordability has made the region popular with first-home buyers.”

Ballarat, Victoria

  • Median house price: $300,000–$500,000

This regional city is “well set-up” to not only withstand the impacts of Covid-19 but to thrive during recovery, said Ryder.

This is because key employment sectors in the city are information technology and healthcare, as well as the trend of working in regional hubs thanks to the new era of remote work.

“Proximity to the state capital and housing affordability are key factors in Ballarat’s popularity with investors and home-buyers seeking alternatives to Melbourne,” said Ryder.

“It thrives through a diverse economy, low unemployment, a growing population and proximity to Melbourne, making it a popular commuter city.

“With the State and Federal Governments planning to spend billions on upgrading road and rail links to Ballarat, including improved connections to Melbourne airport, commuting will become easier.”

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