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Market update: Which regional areas are on the rise?

As buyers and renters alike opt to leave city life behind, house and units values continue to grow across the country’s top regional areas.

Twenty-three of the 25 largest regional house markets recorded rising housing values year-on-year, while 18 of these regions also saw positive yearly growth for units.

This is according to the CoreLogic Regional Market Update – which looks at capital growth over the 12 months to October in Australia’s 25 largest non-capital city markets.

Tasmania’s Launceston and North East region remains the top performer for houses for the third quarter running, enjoying a 10.5 per cent jump in housing prices during the October quarter.

The highest yearly growth for units was in New South Wales’ Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven market, which recorded annual growth of 8.6 per cent in the year to October.

Western Australia’s Bunbury region recorded the lowest yearly house value, down 4.5 per cent, while yearly growth for units in Victoria’s Hume region fell 7.8 per cent over the same period.

Figures: CoreLogic

“The results of this report support increasing levels of demand outside of cities,” CoreLogic’s Head of Australian Research, Eliza Owen said.

“Regional Australia’s dwelling markets had higher rates of growth relative to capital cities through the pandemic. In the year to October, combined regional Australian dwelling markets rose 4.8 per cent, compared with a 3.9 per cent lift in the capital cities.

“Migration numbers from the ABS show net internal migration to the regions rose to a record high in the June quarter.

“This was because movements to regional Australia increased, while departures from the regions slowed. As a result, demand for dwellings in regional Australia will have risen at a time when the stock available for sale is relatively low.

“‘Commutable’ regional areas within a reasonable travel distance to the major metropolitan centres have seen particularly extraordinary increases in demand. House sales volumes increased by double digits across the mid north coast, Illawarra, and the Hunter Valley.

“Of the 50 house and unit markets analysed, only six markets continued to show declines over the year, including markets far from metropolitans such as Riverina houses, Cairns units and units in Central Queensland.

“With record low mortgage rates and confidence returning to the Australian economy, there is likely to be a broader-based upswing across both regional and capital city markets into the first quarter of 2021,” Ms Owen said.

While this is all great news for those seeking to flee the city, locals may become priced out of their own areas.

“For local first home buyers, declining affordability may become a problem. Growth may start to slow in regions that have already seen a sustained upswing, due to such affordability constraints.

“These include areas such as Illawarra, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, the Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast, where annual growth rates in houses have already exceeded 7 per cent in the year to October,” Ms Owen concluded.

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