Most of the strongest markets in the nation are now in regional Australia. And regional NSW is the strongest market jurisdiction in the nation.
The key point is that regional New South Wales is moving in the opposite direction to Sydney. While there are now few rising markets in the state capital, there are growth locations spread across the regions of NSW.
Hotspotting’s Winter 2018 survey for The Price Predictor Index reveals that a record 38 local government areas have growth markets – a total of 60 suburbs or towns with rising sales activity.
1. Newcastle and the Hunter Region form a compelling growth precinct. Suburbs in the City of Newcastle have had very strong price growth (most have had double-digit growth and some have risen 20% or more) in the 12 months.
Following the mining boom jobs were disappearing and without the employment, people were looking elsewhere and moving for better job security.
Now the momentum has shifted to neighbouring Lake Macquarie and locations in the nearby Hunter Region near Newcastle (including Maitland, Cessnock, Singleton and Muswellbrook).
Sales in the suburb of Rutherford in the Maitland LGA have been 64, 75, 70, 91, 86, 99 and 102 in the past seven quarters, while Medowie in the Port Stephens LGA have risen from around 40 a year ago to 55 in the latest quarter.
2. Muswellbrook and Singleton continue to improve after the previous downturn caused by over-development and a downturn in the coal industry.
Muswellbrook’s quarterly sales have risen from 41 to 52 to 57 to 75 over 12 months. Singleton and Singleton Heights combined previously had 35 to 45 sales per quarter but in the past 12 months quarterly sales have been 55, 58, 88 and 86.
Following the merger of the Wyong and Gosford LGAs to form the Central Coast LGA, this municipality is now a significant market in regional NSW. The sales patterns suggest this market has probably passed its peak – there are a large number of Plateau markets, places where sales activity has tapered off at levels below the peak.
But sales growth in the recent past has created strong growth in median house prices in the last 12 months, including in Narara (13%), North Gosford (16%), Terrigal (10%), Toukley (15%), Umina Beach (17%) and Wyoming (16%).
3. Queanbeyan on the ACT border continues to stand out as an affordable growth alternative to Canberra. The LGA of Queanbeyan-Palerang has multiple suburbs/towns with upwardly-mobile sales activity. Quarterly sales in Queanbeyan (the suburb) have been 38, 40, 50 and 59 in the past year.
Queanbeyan is closer to central Canberra than many parts of the ACT, has more affordable prices than most Canberra suburbs and benefits from first-home-buyer incentives available in NSW.
Other regional centres to stand out as above-average markets in regional NSW include Albury, Armidale, Bathurst, Dubbo, Grafton Gunnedah, Lismore, Orange, Parkes, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.
A number of regional towns that would normally not attract much attention from investors are also rising, including Griffith, Inverell, Kempsey, Leeton and Tumut.
A standout is Merimbula on the far south coast of NSW. Quarterly sales have been 36, 46, 47, 56, 55 and 60 in the past 18 months and the median price has risen 18% in the past year. ~ Terry Ryder