Regional property prices dip: 7 areas bucking the trend

Out of Australia’s 25 largest regional markets, only seven have seen house values rise.

Composite image of property sale sign and aerial view of houses in Cairns.
Cairns was one of the regional areas that recorded an annual increase in house values. (Source: Getty)

Property prices are dropping across most of Australia’s regional areas, as markets continue to reel from high interest rates and a shift in migration patterns back to pre-COVID levels.

CoreLogic’s latest Regional Market Update, which looks at Australia’s 25 largest non-capital regions, found 18 areas recorded an annual drop in house values over the year to July 2023.

The biggest dip was seen in Richmond-Tweed (-20.4 per cent), which includes Byron, Ballina and Tweed Heads, and the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven (-15 per cent) although the annual pace of decline eased.

CoreLogic Australia head of research Eliza Owen said, despite regional housing values rising for the past five months, prices remained 5.6 per cent below this time last year and sale volumes were down 21.3 per cent.

“While the market is starting to recover, value growth is largely being led by capital city markets, reflecting milder housing demand across regional Australia as demographic patterns normalise,” Owen said.

“Year-on-year growth was hard to find across regional Australia in the past 12 months. The markets that saw an increase were largely more affordable, and were more rural.

“Presumably, lower value assets have been more resilient to increases in interest costs because they require lower indebtedness.”

Some more rural, regional parts of the country may also have sustained housing demand due to targeted migration programs, Owen said.

Regional growth spots

The South East region of South Australia, which includes tourism hotspots Kangaroo Island, the Fleurieu Peninsula and the Limestone Coast, continued to lead the charge, with house values growing 9.1 per cent.

The biggest winner was Queensland, with Central Queensland (2.7 per cent), Mackay-Issac-Whitsunday (1.2 per cent), Toowoomba (0.7 per cent) and Cairns (0.5 per cent) all recording growth.

Rounding out the list was Bunbury in Western Australia (3.7 per cent) and New England and North West in NSW (1.6 per cent).

Follow Yahoo Finance on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our free daily newsletter.