Australia's regional areas are now under the spotlight as capital city property markets become too expensive.
As capital city property markets become too expensive and force buyers to look for more affordable alternatives, Australia's regional areas are now under the spotlight with some of the more popular regions showing a lift in transaction levels and median values according to CoreLogic Regional Report for the March 2016 quarter.
The Illawarra region in New South Wales leads the way as the best year-on-year performer with house values increasing by 15.8 per cent and unit values increasing by 13.2 per cent.
CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said, "The Illawarra region has been a stand out performer in the past year. As you would expect, this market been driven largely by a surge in Sydney property prices as people find themselves priced out of the capital city housing market. The Illawarra region offers not just an affordable alternative for owner occupiers; it's also attracting buyers keen to secure holiday homes."
"With mortgage rates at their lowest levels in 53 years and tipped to drop even further, we're likely to see housing purchases popular across larger coastal regional markets throughout 2016."
In another win for NSW, Richmond-Tweed was the only region to see sales volumes increase over the year, up 10.8 per cent to 5,930, while Newcastle & Lake Macquarie and Illawarra both saw transactions lower relative to last year, down -1.4 per cent and -3.2 per cent respectively.
Across Queensland, the Gold Coast recorded the largest increase in dwelling sales over the year to February 2016, up 7.3 per cent to 19,516 sales, followed by Wide Bay, which saw dwelling sales increase by 4.4 per cent to 5,471.
Regional Townsville experienced the biggest fall in sales volumes over the same period, down -8.3 per cent to 3,419 sales while in The Sunshine Coast and Cairns regions, volumes dropped by -2.4 per cent and -2.3 per cent respectively.
For regional Victoria, dwelling sales increased across Geelong, up 2.0 per cent to 6,117, while across the Latrobe-Gippsland region, sales volumes increased by 7.4 per cent. Both regions saw home values rise, with houses and units across Geelong rising by 5.4 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively, compared to Latrobe-Gippsland, where house values were up 3.0 per cent and unit values increased by 2.1 per cent over the year to March 2016.
Detached house values remained relatively unchanged in Bunbury in Western Australia and recorded a rise of just 0.3 per cent. Simultaneously, unit values fell by -3.7 per cent over the year to March 2016 while sales volumes were down -9.2 per cent for houses and -24.1 per cent across the smaller unit market, indicating current transaction levels are -4.2 per cent below the five year average for the region.