Illawarra Retains Title as Top Performing Regional Area

For the June 2017 quarter, New South Wales once again delivered Australia’s top performing regional property market according to the latest CoreLogic regional update. Leading the way, The Illawarra region, (comprising of: Municipality of Kiama, City of Shellharbour, Wingecarribee Shire, City of Wollongong) experienced the best home values growth for the quarter. Newcastle and Lake Macquarie followed.

CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said, “Some regional areas are enjoying the benefits of buoyant property market conditions due to housing demand rippling outside of the capital city boundaries into regional towns, particularly coastal regions.”

“Unfortunately, regional areas closely linked to the resources sector are still doing it tough; while conditions are generally stabilizing in these areas we expect relatively soft conditions to continue throughout the year.”

“With mortgage rates still low, the attractiveness of housing, particularly in some of the larger coastal regional markets, is likely to continue to show further growth over 2017,’’ he said.

Regional report key highlights (June Quarter):

  • The Illawarra region recorded the largest annual increase in home values, up 15.8 per cent for houses and 14.4 per cent for units.
  • Wide Bay and Townsville were the only regions to see values for both houses and units fall over the year to June 2017.
  • The Townsville region had the biggest fall in transaction activity, with dwelling sales down -9.0 per cent over the year to May 2017.
  • Townsville and Bunbury were the only regions to see rental rates fall over the 12 months to June 2017.

Regional Area Sales & Yields Snapshot:

  • Newcastle/Lake Macquarie: 8,278 homes sold (80% houses, 20% units) & 4.3% rental yield
  • Illawarra: 5600 homes sold (70% houses, 30% units) & 4% rental yield
  • Richmond /Tweed: 6,488 homes sold (67% houses, 33% units) & 4.9% rental yield
  • Gold Coast: 19,242 homes sold (43% houses, 57% units) & 4.9% rental yield
  • Sunshine Coast: 11, 068 homes sold (65% houses, 35% units) & 4.8% rental yield
  • Townsville: 3,164 homes sold (85% houses, 15% units) & 5.2% rental yield
  • Wide Bay: 5643 homes sold (90% houses, 10% units) & 5.7% rental yield
  • Cairns: 5418 homes sold (66% houses, 34% units) & 5.4% rental yield
  • Geelong: 6425 homes sold (84% houses, 16% units) & 4.4% rental yield
  • Latrobe/Gippsland: 6,033 homes sold (89% houses, 11% units) & 5.5% rental yield
  • Bunbury: 2,798 homes sold (90% houses, 10 units) & 5% rental yield

Richmond-Tweed was the only region to see sales volumes rise, with an additional 120 properties transacting over the year to May, representing an increase of 1.9 per cent.

While The llawarra was the top performer for home values across the regional areas analysed, sales activity dropped; the area recorded its biggest fall in sales activity over the same period with transactions down -7.4 per cent, or 447 fewer homes selling when compared to May 2016.

Rental rates increased across all three regions; units in the Illawarra region recorded the largest increase with rates up by 5.1 per cent. Units in the Richmond-Tweed region followed and were up by 4.6 per cent.

In Queensland, dwelling sales fell in three of the five regions over the year to May 2017 with the largest fall in Townsville where sales volumes were down -9.0 per cent. The Gold Coast followed with a drop of -8.2 per cent, then Cairns with a -4.1 per cent drop.

Across the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay regions, sales remained much the same as they were in June 2016. Wide Bay and Townsville were the only two regions to see home values fall, while the Gold Coast region saw the largest increase in both house (7.5 per cent) and unit (5.9 per cent) values, followed by the Sunshine Coast, where house values increased by 6.0 per cent and unit values increased by 4.4 per cent. Cairns recorded minimal change in home values; unit values in the city were virtually unchanged (0.4 per cent).

Rental rates in the Gold Coast region recorded their largest increase for houses at 5.0 per cent, followed by houses in the Sunshine Coast region at 3.3 per cent.

In Victoria, sales activity dropped by -0.8 per cent in the Geelong area, while the Latrobe-Gippsland region saw a slight increase of 1.3 per cent in the amount of homes transacting over the year to May. Both regions saw home values increase over the 12 months to June, with values increasing by 8.3 per cent for houses and 5.6 per cent for units in Geelong, compared to the Latrobe-Gippsland region, where house and unit values increased by 2.9 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively.

For Western Australia’s Bunbury region, house values remain unchanged, however unit values fell -2.6 per cent of the year to June 2017. Sales volumes fell -4.7 per cent over the 12 months to May, with current activity -13 per cent below the five year average. Rental rates in the Bunbury region fell -2.9 per cent for houses and -6.1 per cent for units when compared to June 2016.