House prices

House prices rise with regional market outperforming capital cities, CoreLogic data shows

PHOTO: Residential property sales plummeted 40 per cent through March and April before finishing the year with a strong turnaround.(ABC News: Graeme Powell)

House prices in regional Australia have risen at a higher annual rate than in capital cities for the first time in more than 15 years, as COVID-19 increases people’s desire to live outside the big smoke.

Annual data by real estate analysts CoreLogic shows dwelling values in capital cities rose 2 per cent during 2020.

That compares to an almost 7 per cent increase for regional markets.

“Regional markets haven’t outperformed the capital city markets since 2004,” CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said.

There has been intense speculation about Australians choosing to relocate regionally during the pandemic, as working from home arrangements make it easier for people to move away from big cities where major employers are typically based.

Mr Lawless said there was now enough data both out of CoreLogic and the Australian Bureau of Statistics to back up this speculation.

“I think this trend is quite entrenched now and it will persist into 2021. Perhaps as we go into mid-2021 we will start to see affordability diminish between capital and regional markets,” Mr Lawless said.

a view from a country balcony
Houses in regional towns like Daylesford in Victoria have been booming during the pandemic.(ABC News: Emilia Terzon)

Mr Lawless said the hottest markets were those that were only a few hours drive from major capital cities, such as the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Geelong, Daylesford, Ballarat, Wollongong, and Newcastle.

“They’re leading the pack in terms of strongest growth,” he said.

“People can have the best of both worlds and live in a marketplace with lifestyle benefits and lower prices, as well commute back to big cities if they need to,” Mr Lawless said.