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Best regional NSW areas for property investment 2024

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OpenAgent articles are reviewed by real estate experts and professionals. Our reviewers confirm the content is thorough, accurate and reflective of current trends and best practice. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more about our editorial policy and review board here.

Johanna is one of the co-CEOs of OpenAgent. She has over 8 years of experience in the real estate industry through her work at OpenAgent and holds a class 2 real estate license in NSW. Previously, Johanna worked at hipages.com.au, Australia's largest trade marketplace, where she built her experience understanding renovations and home improvements for 7+ years.

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Looking for the best place to buy investment property in regional NSW?

Here, we round up the latest data and expert insights on how the regional NSW property market is tracking as well as where it may be headed in 2024.

Let’s start with an overview of how the regional NSW property market performed in 2023.

What did the regional NSW property market look like in 2023?

NSW regional areas
2021 saw a massive ‘flight from the cities’. So will 2022 be much of the same?

 After dropping -8.1 per cent from their May 2022 peak, CoreLogic data shows regional NSW housing values recovered in 2023, gaining +2.3 percent over January to October. While prices rose, the regional NSW property market’s recovery trailed Sydney, where prices gained +11.6 per cent over the same period.

“After recording stronger growth and milder declines through the recent cycles, housing values across Australia’s regional areas have generally lagged the capital city markets in 2023,” CoreLogic says.

Property expert John McGrath says decreased migration – following a surge in pandemic sea and tree-changers – lead to the softer price recovery. However, regional areas remain attractive to buyers, especially now the benefits of the Covid-era population boost take effect.   

“The impact this trend has had on these regional areas cannot be understated, with unprecedented jobs growth and more money being poured into the regions leading to improved services and infrastructure and greater liveability,” says John.

As homebuyers and investors continue eyeing regional properties, interest has shifted from expensive seaside locations to more rural properties in NSW where prices are lower. 

“Premium regional beach hubs experienced the strongest pandemic gains and the highest falls during the correction,” says John. “This means there is a lot of new value in the most popular regions today, whilst the strongest capital growth is now occurring in more affordable rural and treechange areas of the state.”

John cites real estate data from the northern NSW coast as an example. Median house price in Byron Bay fell -8.7 per cent over the twelve months to June 2023 to $2,875,000, while rising in the inland towns of Clunes (+6.1 per cent, median house price $1,350,000) and Nimbin (+2.3 per cent, median house price $655,000).

CoreLogic’s Quarterly Regional Market Update presents a similar situation. South Coast town Batemans Bay recorded the largest annual decrease in dwelling value (-6.9 per cent) while further north, Nelson Bay recorded a -30.8 per cent decrease in sales activity compared to the previous year. “These markets are now seeing weaker growth conditions after strong gains during the pandemic upswing,” said CoreLogic economist Kaytlin Ezzy. On the other hand, “The flood-ravaged town of Lismore saw the number of home sales rise from a flood affected low base, lifting +16.5 per cent over the year to August.”

The IPN Regional Price Index shows prices in other NSW inland areas have also strengthened. Broken Hill and Far West (+5.2 per cent, median price $201,000), Dubbo (+4.6 per cent, median price $500,000) and Wagga Wagga (+4.2 per cent, median price $500,000) had the highest house price growth of NSW’s regions, while Wagga Wagga (+21 per cent, median price $405,000) topped the list for regional unit price growth in Australia.

Regional NSW property market predictions 2024

Domain has a positive outlook for the regional NSW property market, putting the recent softening of prices in context with the “mega-growth” of Covid, when prices soared +26.4 per cent in the year to March 2022. 

“Growth is slowing in the regions, but we expect it to continue at a healthy rate,” says Dr Nicola Powell, Domain chief of research and economics. “Prices are still very affordable when compared to the cities.” 

John McGrath says investors should consider the regional NSW property market as ripe for potential long-term gains.

“The benefits include the potential for better capital growth in the regions, as well as the higher rental yields that come with more affordable properties,” says John. “Another benefit of buying in regional areas is the opportunity to buy houses, which have historically delivered better capital growth than apartments.”

How are property prices in regional NSW expected to change in 2024?

NAB predicts strong housing demand will outweigh high interest rates, expecting NSW house prices to rise +1.1 per cent over the next year and +2.4 per cent over the next two years.

Domain forecasts -1 to +1 per cent price growth for houses and +1 to +3 per cent price growth for units in regional NSW by the end FY24. While noting that changing migration policy could limit population flow, Domain predicts housing affordability will drive young homebuyers to cheaper regional markets, particularly those close to major cities or employment hubs. 

What are the best NSW regional towns to invest in 2024?

CoreLogic lists these NSW regions as having the highest 12-month growth in dwelling value:

  • Tamworth Gunnedah in New England/North West, median dwelling value $439,390, up +7.7 per cent over the past year.
  • Lachlan Valley in the Central West, median dwelling value $337,613, up +5.9 per cent over the past year.
  • Lake Macquarie – West, median dwelling value $794,748, up +4.7 per cent over the past year.
  • Albury in the Murray River region, median dwelling value $501,712, up +4.5 per cent over the past year.
  • Upper Hunter (excluding Newcastle), median dwelling value $435,009, up +4.5 per cent over the past year.

Domain’s September 2023 House Price Report found these NSW regions had the highest 5-year house price increases:

  • Snowy Monaro Region in southern NSW, median house price $615,000, up +80.9 per cent over the past 5 years.
  • Hilltops in the South West Slopes, median house price $440,000, up +76 per cent over the past 5 years.
  • Federation in the Riverina, median house price $475,000, up +75.9 per cent over the past 5 years.
  • Snowy Valleys in the South West Slopes, median house price $450,000, up +75 per cent over the past 5 years.
  • Mid-Western Regional in the Central Tablelands, median house price $685,000, up +73.4 per cent over the past 5 years.

 In terms of rental yield, Soho recommends these as the best NSW regional areas to buy investment property:

  • Central Coast north of Sydney, rental yield +4.7 per cent.
  • Bowral in the Southern Highlands, rental yield +4.6 per cent.
  • Mittagong in the Southern Highlands, rental yield +4.5 per cent.
  • Bundanoon and Robertson in the Southern Highlands, rental yield +4.4 per cent.
  • Shoalhaven in the South Coast, rental yield +4.3 per cent.
  • Wollongong in the South Coast, rental yield +4.2 per cent.

Considering capital growth, SmartPropertyInvestment includes these two regional NSW areas in its top 50 investment suburbs for 2024:

  • Armidale in the Northern Tablelands, median price $509,000, up +21.20 per cent over the past year, gross rental yield +4.4 per cent.
  • Hamilton in the Hunter region, median price $1,100,000, up +15.8 per cent over the past year, gross rental yield +2.8 per cent.

For investors interested in new-build houses, PropertyTribune lists Lake Cathie as its top choice in regional NSW. This Mid North Coast town offers a potential yield of +6.67 per cent, vacancy rate is +2.2 per cent and typical rent is $640.

Other regional NSW investment property hotspots

Wisebuy Investment Group used a combination of factors – including population, economic growth, affordability, rental yield and capital growth – to pick their top investment hotspots in regional NSW:

SuburbMedian house priceMedian apartment priceAverage rental yieldYear-on-
year  growth
Dubbo$550,000$360,0005.8%+5.2%
Lake Macquarie$900,000$600,0004.0%-2.9%
Goulburn$550,000$600,0005.5%-0.9%
Wagga Wagga$600,000$400,0005.3%+3.8%
Port Macquarie$800,000$500,0004.7%-3.7%
Muswellbrook$650,000$450,0005.0%+2.1%
Parkes$350,000$250,0006%+3.2%

Frequently asked question about best regional NSW areas for investment property

  • Where to buy investment property in NSW?

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  • Is Tamworth a good place to invest?

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