Regions outdo capitals in property values – CoreLogic

Which regional areas recorded the highest growth?

Regions outdo capitals in property values – CoreLogic

Property values across Australia’s regional areas are currently outperforming those in the nation’s capital cities, according to property data and insights provider CoreLogic.

Its latest Regional Market Update has revealed that regional Australia’s dwelling values increased by 1.2% in the quarter ending in January, slightly above the 1% increase seen in the capital cities during the same period, despite a return to normal internal migration patterns, affordability issues, and decreased borrowing capacity due to higher interest rates.

Tim Lawless (pictured), research director at CoreLogic, noted that while growth in regional areas has slowed, this follows a significant increase during the pandemic, driven by high internal migration and affordability.

“Outside of the pandemic growth between 2020 and 2022, the outperformance of regional markets relative to the capital cities is a fairly new phenomenon,” Lawless said. “The more recent trend where growth in regional housing values has outpaced the capital cities is attributable to a slowdown in capital city growth rates rather than an acceleration in regional growth.”

The CoreLogic report highlights variability in capital growth across Australia’s 50 largest significant urban areas (SUAs), with notable growth in Western Australia and Queensland. Coastal towns in WA like Albany and Bunbury saw the highest quarterly value increases, with growth rates of 7.7% and 6.2% respectively. This was followed by Lismore in Northern New South Wales (5.5%) and Townville in North Queensland (4.7%).

Only six SUAs experienced an annual increase of 10% or more, including Bunbury in WA (15.8%) and Central Queensland’s Bundaberg and Rockhampton (both 12%).

Tasmania’s Launceston and Devonport saw the largest quarterly declines, with falls of -2.3% and -2% respectively. Eleven regional markets across Victoria, Tasmania, and NSW experienced annual declines, with Batemans Bay in NSW facing the largest drop at 5.8%.

Looking ahead, Lawless emphasised that demographic trends, migration patterns, and local economic factors will play a crucial role in regional housing values this year.

He suggested that the legacy of COVID-19, particularly remote working policies, could continue to influence demand, especially in regional cities offering a blend of commute options to capital cities, lifestyle benefits, and affordable housing.

“Regional cities in the ‘sweet spot’ — offering commuting options to a capital city, a lifestyle dividend, and affordable housing — will likely experience stronger demand than they did pre-COVID,” Lawless said.

“In contrast, the performance of more remote regional markets will hinge on local economic factors, with infrastructure projects impacting housing demand, and climate, weather, currency flows, and policies affecting farming or coastal areas.”

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