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QLD and WA suburbs continue to outperform

The property market across the country continues to look increasingly positive, with an expert tipping more growth is still ahead for many areas.

The Hotspotting Top 10 National Best Buys report, revealed several areas across the country are outperforming led, by Queensland and Western Australia.

Hotspotting Director Terry Ryder said price data in the first seven months of the year has turned increasingly positive as property markets rebound.

“It’s important to note that the upturn in fortunes occurred long before the RBA decisions in July and August to pause its increases to the official interest rate,” Mr Ryder said.

“Just as the decline in major markets like Sydney and Brisbane started well before the first interest rate rise in May 2022.

“This is because there are greater influences on property market outcomes than the level of interest rates.”

Queensland showing strength

Mr Ryder said Queensland had the most locations that were ripe for short-term growth, led by Toowoomba.

Hotspotting General Manager Tim Graham said Toowoomba continued to be one of the strongest regional markets in Queensland, with a high number of consistent suburbs and no declining locations.

He said Mount Lofty was one of the nation’s top performers, while Darling Heights and Middle Range also performed well. 

“Based on CoreLogic data for the 12 months to May 2023, Newtown, East Toowoomba, Harristown, Highfields, South Toowoomba, Wilsonton and Wilsonton Heights recorded the city’s highest annual increases in median house prices – up 15 per cent to 17 per cent,” Mr Graham said.

Mr Graham said the Brisbane Olympic Precinct was also a location showing promise, with Woolloongabba lifting its median house price four per cent and its median unit price nine per cent in the 12 months to April 2023. 

“Fairfield’s median house price jumped 22 per cent, while the median unit price for Annerley rose 13 per cent,” he said. 

“Very few houses are available in the region for under $1 million, and the impact of preparations for the Olympic Games is set to increase those prices further.”

While in Far North QLD, strong population growth and a diverse economy is boosting home prices in Townsville.

Mr Ryder said according to CoreLogic’s Regional Market Update published in May 2023, the median house price for Townsville was $385,000 in April 2023, up slightly from 12 months earlier. 

“This defied national trends with the CoreLogic Home Value Index in June finding that house values across regional Australia fell 7.5 per cent in the same period and 6.2 per cent in Regional Queensland,” he said.

Mr Ryder said long-term growth rates are improving, recently reaching nine per cent per year in Gulliver and seven to eight per cent in Alice River, Currajong, 9 | Page Hermit Park, Oonoonba, Vincent, and Wulguru.

WA outperforms

Meanwhile, WA has also had an incredibly resilient housing market.

Mr Ryder said the City of Stirling was one of Perth’s best-performing suburbs for house price growth in 2022 and, just like Perth itself, continues to rise in 2023.

He said in the 12 months to May 2023, Carine (up 13 per cent), Hamersley (up 15 per cent) and Osborne Park (up 12 per cent) experienced the most notable growth in the Stirling LGA, and now have a wide range of median house prices from $580,000 to $1.1 million, CoreLogic data shows.

“Osborne Park’s $580,000 is almost the lowest in the Stirling area, beaten only by Balga on $380,000, after a five per cent annual lift,” he said.

At the same time, Geraldton Regional in regional WA, which features the state’s second-largest port has been experiencing strong growth.

Mr Ryder said the area had recorded an uplift in sales activity in 2022, prompted in part by the “exodus to affordable lifestyle” trend. 

“This has continued in 2023 and has translated into price growth in most parts of the Geraldton market,” he said.

Mr Ryder said the City of Belmont has also featured strongly, with all suburbs in the analysis either rising, consistent or recovering markets. 

“The suburbs of Belmont and Kewdale were both classified as rising, with Kewdale making the Top 75 Supercharged Suburbs,” he said. 

“The suburb of Cloverdale also made the report’s Top 50 Consistent Suburbs and is also the most affordable suburb, where the median house price is $490,000 and the median unit price is $355,000.” 

Affordability is important

Meanwhile, across NSW homes in the inner west are showing heavy demand.

“A key trend is rising demand for affordable apartments in near-city locations, where houses are too expensive, and buyers are turning to more affordable alternatives,” Mr Ryder said. 

“This trend applies to first-home buyers, down-sizers and families who want to remain close to the CBD.” 

In Victoria, the City of Hume and Geelong have been top performers.

Mr Graham said annual sales activity has remained strong in the City of Hume, with most suburbs experiencing 100 or more house transactions. 

“Craigieburn turnovers were the highest in the LGA, with 740 sales across the year for a median price of $645,000,” he said.  

He said Armstrong Creek, Charlemont and the suburb of Geelong were all rising markets.

“Many suburbs continued to have busy markets, with Lara, Highton, Ocean Grove, Corio, Armstrong Creek, and Grovedale all recording more than 200 annual house sales,” Mr Graham said. 

Mr Graham said Salisbury has been one of Adelaide’s strongest growing regions for both property interest and value increases.

South Australia as a whole is struggling with a lack of housing, amid high population growth, he said. 

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.