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Regional hot spots set to boom

A resurgence in some capital city property markets over recent months shows no signs of slowing down, but the real hot spots to watch aren’t in Sydney and Melbourne.

Analysis by property researcher Selection Residential Property’s forecasting service suburbgrowth.com.au has identified the regional locations it expects to surge in price by more than 20 per cent in the next few years.

And most of them have buy-in prices that are a small fraction of big city suburbs, SRP Director of Research Jeremy Sheppard said.

The list is made up of spots that have a solid holiday market, such as Ballina on the northern New South Wales coast and the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

But they’re locations that also possess growth fundamentals outside of the tourism sector, Mr Sheppard said.

“While some of these locations might be better known as holiday destinations, they also have significant local populations – in some cases, hundreds of thousands of people who live there all year round,” Mr Sheppard said.

“What this means is that these markets have solid fundamentals primed for growth, including the economic principals of demand and supply that apply upward housing price pressure.”

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At the top of the list is East Ballina, which Mr Sheppard expects to see a 28 per cent increase in its median house price in the next three years.

“Not only is East Ballina a coastal suburb, but the region is located just south of Byron Bay as well as being within commuting distance of the Gold Coast,” he said.

It was followed closely by Bilambil Heights in the Tweed Heads region, which he expects to grow by 27 per cent.

“The region is well-known for its abundance of natural beauty, which draws millions of tourists each year,” Mr Sheppard said.

“However, suburbs like Bilambil Heights are also popular with local residents because of its topography as well as location within an easy commute of the Gold Coast.”

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Mr Sheppard’s 2022 growth forecast also included Rosetta in Hobart (25 per cent), Kuluin on the Sunshine Coast (25 per cent) and Kiama, south of Wollongong (24 per cent).

“While tourists might head to Kiama each year for holidays, its residents get to enjoy its myriad attractions every day, including a number of popular surfing spots. On top of that, Wollongong is expected to go from strength to strength in the years ahead given its location just 120km south of Sydney.”

The five top growth suburbs currently have median house prices between $431,000 and $825,000.

But Mr Sheppard’s list included a number of affordable locations, including Mildura with a median of $297,000 and a three-year growth forecast of 22 per cent.

The regional NSW town of Grafton, with a current median of $318,000, is expected to grow by 20 per cent, he said.

And Echuca in Victoria, where the median is $367,000, could increase in value by 20 per cent, he said.

Mr Sheppard’s analysis incorporated 17 different market variables to predict growth over the coming three years.


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