Property values have increased in 23 out of 50 separate house and unit markets over the past 12 months to January 2020, according to the latest Quarterly Regional Market Update from CoreLogic. The report analyses property market performance across Australia’s largest non-capital city regions.  

Overall, houses outperformed apartments with house prices rising in 15 regions nationally compared to unit value gains in only eight regions. Launceston and North East Tasmania was the best performer overall across both the housing and unit markets, recording a +7.1 per cent increase in house prices over the year to January 2020 and a +13.6 per cent increase in apartment prices over the same period. The median house value in the region is now $338,139 and the median apartment value is $269,225. 

Commenting on the results, CoreLogic head of residential research Eliza Owen said, 

“It is no surprise to see the Launceston and North East region of Tasmania topping the list for capital growth. The region has benefitted from a City Deal, increased tourism which is boosting the local economy and a spill-over of growth from Hobart, as people seek relatively affordable housing elsewhere in Tasmania. 

Looking forward to the rest of 2020, the regions likeliest to see continued growth are high amenity areas with close proximity to major capital cities. These include the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, Geelong and the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie regions. As housing affordability becomes a resurgent issue in 2020, capital city residents may once again seek relatively affordable housing in nearby regions, or regional areas with high levels of amenity.”

Housing markets

The Gold Coast reported the second highest jump in house prices, with an annual growth of +5.2 per cent, followed by Cairns, which increased by +4.2 per cent. Sales volumes for houses increased the most in the Illawarra region, up +9.8 per cent from the year prior while houses in Ballarat spent only 30 days on the market, making it the fastest selling housing region over the 12 months to January 2020. 

Of the 25 housing markets analysed by CoreLogic, 10 reported a downward trend in housing values over the year. While the volume of house sales in Bunbury increased by +8.3 per cent, the region recorded the lowest annual growth in value with house prices down -6.6 per cent. This was followed by Riverina which reported house price growth of -6.1 per cent over the previous 12 months. 

Housing market activity slowed the most in New England and North West, with the region reporting a -16.1 per cent decline in house sales over the year, while house vendors in the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven region (NSW) waited the longest to offload their properties with houses remaining on the market for 103 days. 
The lowest discounts were being offered across the Central West region (NSW) with a discount rate of -3.9 per cent, while vendors in Central Queensland discounted their houses by an average -7.1 per cent. 

Unit markets

After Launceston and North East Tasmania (+13.6 per cent), the Ballarat region reported the next highest annual growth in apartment prices (+7.8 per cent). This was followed by Wide Bay in Queensland, where apartment values grew by +5.5 per cent to January 2020. 

Ballarat also boasted the fastest selling apartments out of all the regions, with the average unit taking just 29 days to sell, and the lowest discounts, with apartment vendors in Ballarat offering an average -2.8 per cent discount on the asking price. 

Geelong was by far the best performer in terms of annual unit sales volumes, with apartment sales climbing by +26.7 per cent. The next highest growth was recorded in La-Trobe Gippsland, where apartment sales increased by +16.3 per cent over the year. 

Sellers in the Bunbury region and the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven region (NSW) took an average of 101 days to sell their units, up from 77.5 days and 71 days respectively over the year prior – a sign of challenging conditions across both markets. The Bunbury region also offered the largest discounts in order to secure a sale (-8.5 per cent) while the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven region experienced the greatest decline in apartment values (-11.1 per cent) over the year to January 2020.