Who's the right agent for you?

Compare, research and shortlist now.

Compare Agents
  • OpenAgent
  • >
  • News
  • >
  • Strength in regional markets continue as prices surge

Strength in regional markets continue as prices surge

Profile photo of Emily Ng
Written by

Emily is a Sydney-based real estate writer.

Learn more about our editorial guidelines.

It’s widely known that COVID-19 sparked a regional property boom. As Australians transitioned to working from home, the demand for larger and more affordable properties outside of capital cities surged.

A year on, this trend shows no signs of slowing down, with demand for regional properties continuing to be strong. 

According to CoreLogic’s latest Regional Market Update, over the 12 months to January 2021, regional housing values rose at more than four times the pace of capital city markets. 

The report also looks at the performance of 25 of the largest regional markets in Australia — with some stand-out performers. We take a look at the top performers below.

Best performing markets for houses

Highest yearly growth: Richmond - Tweed, NSW: 12.6%

Highest change in sales volume: Central Queensland, QLD: 42.5%

Shortest days on market: Ballarat, VIC: 27 days 

Lowest vendor discount: Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, NSW: -2.4%

When it comes to houses, across Australia, the Richmond - Tweed region recorded the highest annual growth rate of 12.6 per cent. 

Houses in Central Queensland had the highest change in sales volume, up 42.5 per cent while houses in Ballarat in Victoria sold the quickest, with buyers securing properties within around 27 days. 

Newcastle and Lake Macquarie houses are offering the lowest vendor discounting of -2.4%, indicating that most sellers are not selling for below the asking price. 

According to Sales Agent, Tony Holland from McGrath Coolangatta/Tweed Heads, the Tweed region was primed for price growth. 

“The Tweed area certainly has been considered undervalued and was primed for a surge in pricing. 

“We live in a highly desirable place with great weather, great accessibility to the Gold Coast and easy access to airports. 

“Until recently, properties here were considered to be excellent value and they still are when you compare them to adjoining areas like Byron Bay,” he said.

north wollongong
House prices in the Kingscliff and Tweed Heads regions have soared due to buyer demand from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. 

Mr Holland says that the increased prevalence of working from home has pushed buyers to lifestyle areas. 

“The working from home situations that COVID has created is allowing people to relocate to affordable areas close to good schools, shopping, infrastructure - and that’s what Tweed has.

“We’re getting people pushing from three capital cities - Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. 

“On top of that, we’re also getting people migrating from the northern end of the Gold Coast which has gotten a lot busier over the last five years. Those who are looking for a quieter lifestyle are now searching in the Southern Gold Coast Tweed area,” he said. 

Mr Holland says that the surge in buyer activity has drastically increased the number of buyers through open homes and the time it takes to sell. 

“Before COVID, a normal open would be 5-10 people through. We’re now seeing 20-40 people coming through with multiple offers on the first weekend and often we have sight unseen offers,” he said.

As a result of increased buyer interest, properties in Tweed are also selling a lot faster with Days on Market (DOM) significantly lower. 

“An estimate of our current DOM is less than 15 days from the time of listing through to the time of contract. Prior to COVID it would normally run at 40 days. 

“Every week we’re seeing a result that has surpassed previous benchmarks in the area,” he said.

Best performing markets for units

Highest yearly growth: Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven, NSW: 17.9%

Highest change in sales volume: Bunbury, WA: 51.0%

Shortest days on market: Launceston and North East, Tas: 24 days 

Lowest vendor discounts: Geelong, Vic: -2.0%

In Australia’s unit market, the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven claim the top spot for the region with the highest annual growth for the second consecutive quarter at 12.6 per cent. 

Units in the Western Australian suburb of Bunbury have the highest change in sales volumes, increasing 51 per cent. 

Units in Launceston and North Eastern Tasmania have recorded the shortest days on market at 24 days. 

While the lowest vendor discounting over the quarter is seen in the Victorian region of Geelong at -2.0 per cent.

latrobe valley
Units in the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven region have grown 17.9% over the 12 months to January.

According to Peter Rapley, Sales Agent and Auctioneer at LJ Hooker Sanctuary Point, the Shoalhaven region is experiencing some buyer spillover from popular neighbouring suburbs like Huskisson. 

“We’re in the St Georges Basin and Sanctuary Point area and we’re close to Huskisson. What I believe is that people have found Huskisson a bit like Byron Bay where everyone goes to enjoy the beautiful waters, dolphin watching, the restaurants and even kayaking and boating. 

“People look at the house price and go ‘wow that’s really expensive - what else have we got around the area?’ and from there they find places like Sanctuary Point and Georges Basin and Basin View and that has brought so many people here,” he said.

Mr Rapley says that the fact that they are relatively close to Sydney has been a driving factor. 

“Every two out of ten people who come through my open houses want holiday houses and the rest are split between investors and first home buyers and people coming from Sydney. 

“People are working from home now and here you’re surrounded by waterways and beautiful beaches and you’re still only two and a half hours from Sydney. 

“The average price point is in the mid-$600,000 for a house. Most houses you’re two or three streets back from the water. In Sydney, a property two or three streets from the water will cost you millions of dollars. 

“Everyone always says that when they come here ‘this house would be $1.5m in Sydney!’, he said.