Spotlight on regional markets

Major regional markets in New South Wales are beginning to feel the ripple effect of Sydney’s property boom, according to the latest CoreLogic RP Data Quarterly Regional Market Report.

The Wollongong/Illawarra region about 90 minutes south of Sydney recorded the greatest capital gains of all Australia’s major regional areas (houses up 9.3% and apartments up 9.6%).

The Newcastle/Lake Macquarie region, about two hours north of Sydney, also recorded solid results with house prices up 7.4% and apartment prices rising 6.6%.

The report showcases property price movement in major regional centres over the 12 months to February/March 2015.

In the case of New South Wales, regional price growth is clearly influenced by Sydney’s boom. We see this trend every time – Sydney gets hot and some buyers pack up and head to a major regional area where there are jobs, affordable housing and a relaxed coastal lifestyle within easy travelling distance of the city. Wollongong and Newcastle are very popular and obvious locations for such buyers.

In regional markets outside New South Wales, it’s fair to attribute growth in some cases to capital city movements, but more so due to record low interest rates and many of these towns simply being due for some growth.

Mining towns or areas influenced by mining are struggling and this is exactly why city investors should never put money into a one industry town – whether mining or any other industry. Once jobs go and the local economy slows, house prices tend to fall.

I’ve been tipping a significant growth spurt for South-East Queensland for some time now and I continue to maintain that view. CoreLogic RP Data’s report has Gold Coast home values up 4.8% for houses and 3.9% for apartments, while Sunshine Coast property values are up 6.3% for houses and 4.7% for apartments. Not bad but nothing boom-like thus far. Give it time.

For the benefit of our readers from all over Australia, here is some detailed information provided by CoreLogic RP Data on property price changes in a number of major regional centres.

Newcastle & Lake Macquarie | NSW

House prices are up 7.4%
Apartment prices are up 6.6%.

Illawarra | NSW

House prices are up 9.3%
Apartment values are up 9.6%
Rents are up 2.3% for houses and 4.2% for apartments.

Richmond-Tweed | NSW

House prices are up 3.6%
Apartment prices are up 4.5%
Today’s sales volume is 22% higher than the five year average
Rents are up 11.7% for houses and 7.5% for apartments.

Gold Coast | QLD

House prices are up 4.8%
Apartment prices are up 3.9%.

Sunshine Coast | QLD

House prices are up 6.3%
Apartment prices are up 4.7%
Rents are up 4.5% for houses and 5.7% for apartments.

Townsville | QLD

House prices are down -2.4%
Apartment prices are down -1.4%
Market has weakened due to slowing resources sector.

Cairns | QLD

House prices are up 5.1%
Apartment prices are up 5.7%
Rents are up 4.1% for houses and 3.6% for apartments.

Geelong | VIC

House prices are up 3.5%
Apartment prices are up 1.6%.

Latrobe-Gippsland | VIC

House prices are up 2.3%
Apartment prices are up 0.1%
Rents are up 3.8% for houses and 2.3% for apartments.

Bunbury | WA

House prices are up 1.2%
Apartment prices are up 0.4%
Strong rental yields available at 5.1% pa for houses and 5.4% pa for apartments.

Published: Wednesday, June 17, 2015