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Regional property markets predicted to outperform capital cities in 2022

Regional property markets will be the ones to watch in 2022, according to Canstar’s inaugural Rising Stars Report, which identifies the top suburbs for future price growth.

The report ranks 14 jurisdictions nationally, comprising eight capital cities and six regional states and territories, on five key metrics including sales volumes, quarterly price growth, vacancy rates, rental growth and infrastructure spending.

As well as top performing districts, the report also identified 110 Rising Star suburbs across the country, including the top 10 within each jurisdiction.

Regional Australia on the rise

Regional New South Wales ranked first in the report, with the suburbs of Blue Haven, Toukley and Gwandalan, sitting at the more affordable end of the Central Coast market.

The suburbs rounding out the top 10 in regional NSW were:

  • Cessnock
  • Dubbo
  • Goulburn
  • Karabar (Queanbeyan)
  • Singleton Heights (Hunter Valley)
  • Tolland (Wagga Wagga)
  • Warners Bay (Lake Macquarie)

Coming in second was regional Queensland, with three Gold Coast suburbs listed among the top 10 ‘Rising Star’ towns and suburbs, which included:

  • Bundaberg East
  • Burleigh Waters (Gold Coast)
  • Centenary Heights (Toowoomba)
  • Dundowran Beach (Hervey Bay)
  • Gympie
  • Little Mountain (Sunshine Coast)
  • Newtown (Toowoomba)
  • Norman Gardens (Rockhampton)
  • Paradise Point (Gold Coast)
  • Southport (Gold Coast)

Regional Western Australia took out third place, where lifestyle areas such as Broome, Carey Park in the Bunbury region and Halls Head in the Mandurah region were dominating over mining towns.

Hotspotting property expert and co-producer of the Rising Stars Report, Terry Ryder, said the report’s results supported the dominant real estate trend seen in recent years dubbed ‘Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle’, whereby residents of larger cities relocated to smaller cities and regional areas.

“The lowest median house price among the ‘Rising Star’ suburbs in regional New South Wales is Tolland at only $290,000, while the same price tag applies to Bundaberg East in North Queensland,” Mr Ryder said.

In the west, Carey Park in Bunbury, Western Australia, has a median house price of just $240,000.

Of course, not all regional areas will come with an affordable price tag, so it’s important to consider the growth potential, rental yield and loan rates when weighing up an investment.

Sydney takes out top spot for capital city future growth

Sydney is the highest-ranking capital city in the report, coming in fourth place overall, followed by Canberra.

“The Sydney market embodies all the apparent contradictions of residential real estate in the pandemic, with a declining population and suffering economy,” Mr Ryder said. 

“Yet areas of Greater Sydney have delivered significant uplift in sales activity and prices, defying everything economists predicted should happen.”

‘Rising Star’ suburbs in Greater Sydney encompass a variety of price ranges, Mr Ryder said.

“Suburbs at the affordable end of the market – by Sydney standards – have an entry price below $1 million, with Leumeah, Minto and Jamisontown some of the standout performers in the report.”

Other standout performers included:

  • Bass Hill
  • Cherrybrook
  • Darlinghurst
  • Miranda
  • Normanhurst
  • Pagewood
  • Yagoona

Canstar’s Editor-at-Large, Effie Zahos, said the pandemic-induced restrictions placed on Sydneysiders had nourished their desire to buy property and buoyed-up prices resulted in a booming market.

“Whereas the Canberra property market is known for its steadiness, it seldom delivers a runaway boom and never crashes.”

Standout Canberra suburbs included Harrison, Curtin, Florey, Gungahlin and Isabella Plains.

“There’s an evenness to the Canberra market that you don’t see in Australia’s other capital cities, likely because it was a planned city,” Mr Ryder said.

“Canberra is a consistent performer on price growth, which is great news for homeowners, but those seeking affordability may need to look closer to the ACT border or beyond to ‘Rising Star’ suburbs like Goulburn and Queanbeyan.”

Brisbane also captured attention in the report, despite coming in eighth overall for 2022.

“The report findings show the property markets that have been leading the nation on price growth in recent years may take a backseat in the years to come, with Canberra and Darwin ranking ahead of resurgent Brisbane and Perth, which may come as a surprise to buyers,” Mr Ryder said.

Long term though, Brisbane is expected to become one of the strongest markets in the nation.

Ms Zahos said there were two key things to get right when buying a property – the location, and how much it’s going to cost you.

“The Rising Stars Report takes some of the legwork out for buyers by marrying Hotspotting’s research on the top locations for price growth with Canstar’s analysis of some of the upfront purchase costs and monthly loan repayments,” she said.

“And it is likely to be an interesting 12 months, particularly as borrowers will be facing tougher lending restrictions.”

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Nicole Madigan

Nicole Madigan is a freelance journalist for Elite Agent.