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Regional Property Hotspots!

Thinking of buying or investing in regional areas? Read on.

How do you identify high growth potential areas?

When researching regional property, there are some key signs to look for that may influence your decision to buy in a particular area.  Below are some of indicators to look for:

  • Large scale infrastructure projects with major investment by government and corporate come with increased opportunities for employment, which in turn boosts the local economy. Such projects might be road and transport links, new hospital, prison facility, school, tourism/entertainment precincts.
  • Investment in town improvements, increased retail, and housing developments are a good indication of a growing local economy. A strong economy ultimately results in population growth and rising property demand
  • Property prices will rise when the demand outweighs the supply. When there is a high demand and competition for properties in a regional area, houses are more likely to be sold via auction and they will be on the market for a shorter period of time.
  • Rising rental returns – this is a good indicator of an area with a strong demand for rental housing. As home and properties prices increase so does the rental demand and yield for investors.
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Regions to keep on your radar

Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, Queensland

The Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast are located in South East Queensland. The proximity of these regions to the state’s capital Brisbane – the Sunshine Coast is north of Brisbane and the Gold Coast is south of Brisbane – makes these attractive for an incremental sea change. Improvements in road, rail and infrastructure have been a huge plus for the local economies.  Both even have their own international airports. These regions have seen a surge in job opportunities and a steady rise in rental and house prices. While house prices have risen with the in these lifestyle locations, there are still affordable options to be found – predominantly in the northern Gold Coast area.

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Illawarra, NSW

Illawarra is a coastal region south of the state’s capital city, Sydney. At this stage it represents great value for your money, while still being close to a major city. It is estimated that 20% of Wollongong’s workforce commute to Sydney for work. While the Illawarra property market had a bad start in 2019, it started to recover in the second half of the year. Declining house prices and low sales are showing signs of change towards an upturn in the market. Kiama and Helensburgh are the suburbs to keep an eye on – they are forecast to see a 25% - 30% median house price increase over the next three years.

Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, NSW

In recent months there has been an improvement in the property market in the Newcastle areas. Indicators for next quarter are for a continued increase in property values for Newcastle. With a more affordable lifestyle than Sydney, Newcastle also offers higher rental returns. Maryland is the most affordable suburb and also has a high rental yield, with a positive growth in rental rates in 2019.

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Townsville and Cairns, Queensland

The Regional Market Update showed a sharp improvement in the rate of decline in home values in Townsville. Towards the end of 2019, house prices stabilised and rental returns showed an increase.

Mining is a huge source of employment and economic growth for the Townsville area. Adani Australia and Townsville City Council have recently negotiated a deal which will see a fly-in fly-out hub in Townsville to service the Carmichael Mine Project. In addition, Adani’s Regional Headquarters will be based in Townsville for the next 30 years promising employment opportunities and local economy benefits.

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Armidale in the New England region, NSW

The median house price in Armidale sits at an affordable $350,000. This has increased, on average, 6.2% annually over the past 20 years. A long list of major projects in the area is fuelling job growth. In turn, selling times are reducing, as are vacancy rates.

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Bunbury, Western Australia

Bunbury is located south of Perth, the state’s capital. A coastal city that has a diverse economy, servicing industries from mining, construction to agriculture, Bunbury offers great opportunities for those looking to invest or live in the city. It offers solid rental yields at 5.02%. Bunbury has an increasing housing demand, brought on by the mini-expansion in the construction, power and services industries.

Geelong, Victoria

A combination of multiple housing development projects and the influence of Melbourne’s rising house prices has seen Geelong undergo a steady rise in price and demand. House prices have risen 15.8% in the year.

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What’s happening locally on the North Coast?

According to the Regional Development Australia Economic Profile on the Northern Rivers, the area is experiencing rapid growth due to its appeal to both young and old demographics. People are choosing to move to the region due to its growth in industries such as retail, construction, tourism and hospitality. Employment has also been increasing in health, education and community services. Along with the increase in job opportunities and population growth comes an increase in the demand for services. This has driven investment opportunities and the development of infrastructure throughout the region. That means spending on homes, health and education services and other community requirements that drive local economic health.

East Ballina is a hotspot to watch, with rental returns sitting between 3.8 – 4.6%, and house price growth of up to 7.6% over 5 years.

The Coffs Harbour and Grafton region showed the strongest growth of all North Coast regions. These areas have seen a 5.5% compounding growth rate for houses over 5 years.

Rental yields sit between 4.7 – 5.3% for Coffs Harbour, and 5.6 – 5.8% for Grafton.

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What should buyers and investors be wary of?

As with any investment, you should do your research first. This includes researching the local area, the property market and looking at the latest property data to identify overall trends.

Investing in property is a long-term strategy, and you need to consider what your investment goals are, for example capital growth or cash flow. A Westlawn Home Loan Broker or Financial Advisor can talk to you about your investment goals and how we can help you to achieve them.

When getting started, always do your due diligence and collaborate with experts such as our mortgage brokers to ensure you get the right loan for you. It could save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.


General advice warning
The information provided on this webpage is intended to provide general information only and the information has been prepared without taking into account any particular person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on such information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation or needs.

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