When you think of a property boom, lavish coastal towns and sprawling urban metropolises come to mind. But as the Australian property market slides, experts have identified 15 property hotspots, many of which you’ll never have heard of, as smart investment opportunities.
And if this downtrend continues, which—according to property professionals—it will (at least for another two years), big-city property owners have reason to sweat and first-home buyers are justified in rubbing their shekels together with hope (if not glee). As for you? You’ll be in Timbuktu watching your bank balance swell (if you play your cards right, and if said experts are correct).
But where to buy? What suburbs are holding their value? How do you get maximum ‘metres squared’ (and proximity to the city) per buck? Of course, you want something within your price range, but you don’t want to buy a place that keeps on declining in value. This is where Effie Zahos comes in. Editor of Money Magazine, finance journalist and commentator, Effie recently dropped by Chanel 9’s Today Show to reveal the best-value Australian suburbs to buy in 2019, state by state.
New South Wales
With a median price of $530,000, Queanbeyan, as Effie explains, although it’s right on the ACT border is, “Technically… in NSW: so first home owners get the grant.” It’s also quite close (a 20 minute drive) to Canberra’s CBD, and is one of the more affordable options out there, so it is seeing an uptick in first home buyers.
Hotspot number two is Rutherford, where $400,000 will get you a pad just 35k’s from Newcastle, which—according to Effie—had a great run last year (and which she expects to continue).
Although country towns have suffered in the property market decline, Orange, where you can buy a house for $395,000, is one of the areas in regional NSW that has recently done well. According to Effie, “Sales over the last twelve months have been about 7.5%.” Maybe it’s time to bite while orange is hot?
Golden Square has a median house price of $325,000. A suburb of Bendigo, Golden Square gives you easy access to one of the finest collections of Victorian buildings of any inland city in Australia, as well as majestic theatres, banks and shopfronts, (originally financed by the gold rush). Also – it’s an hour and a half’s drive from Melbourne so if you work in the city it would be a long (but do-able) commute.
Median price: $275,000. “Seeing great sales.”
At $295, 000, Warangatta’s median house price undercuts Golden Square’s by $30,000. In addition, as revealed by Effie on Channel 9, “Its three year growth forecasts are ranging from about 15-20%; so they’re expecting good things to come out of that.
“Local economy good, regional area good, ripple effect good.”
Median price: $300,000.
Median price: $295,000.
Median price: $680,000.
Although she didn’t discuss each suburb in detail, Effie reckons that—despite the floods—Queensland is a good place to buy a house. “The good thing is,” she explains, “There’s a lot of infrastructure about to be dumped into Queensland—about 25 billion dollars—and we’re hoping these ones (suburbs) will be the star performers.”
Median price: $800,000.
Median price: $470,000.
Median price: $510,000.
Although Effie warns you not to expect a lot from Perth as far as property growth is concerned, she still gave her top picks for the WA region, which are doing well thanks to their local economies: “Again a lot of it is the local economy and sales growth is coming out (of that). We’re coming from negative returns after three years, and we’re going to see some good returns—some of them up to 20% over (the next) three years,” she predicted.
According to Effie, Enfield is a beautiful little town, close to the port, which offers residents a double whammy of coastal lifestyle and jobs (or at least some kind of local economy). Median house price? $450,000.
As Effie explains, Port Augusta could be a smart choice for investors. Why? “We’re looking at… $5 billion in energy being thrown there over the next few years. And with a median house price just $140,000, and rental yields around 8%, Effie says, “That’s a nice one to have a look into if you’re thinking of buying for investment.”
Ascot Park has a higher median house price than Port Augusta, but even at $475,000, the theme remains the same: “Think small (regional centres) for big returns.” Effie also recommends you look at property as you would any other asset, because even though there are “doom and gloom” headlines there are also pockets of opportunity—Ascot Park being one of them.
More generally, she said that when looking for a place to buy, “It’s a case of finding value and understanding what infrastructure is going there, what job growth, what sales figures have happened, and (going) ‘hot-spotting’ (with) all that data. It’s a case of have a look; start your research there.”
Daniel Walsh, director of a real estate investment consultancy, offered a similar point of view, telling The New Daily, “Contrary to some people’s narrow viewpoint that Sydney and Melbourne are the only markets in Australia, there are myriad locations where investors can secure affordable property.” So think outside the box (and your city), if you can.
And it goes without saying (but for legal reasons we have to say it anyway): before buying any property, even if a region has made it onto a “hot spot” list, do your own research on the area, talk to consultants and your own network of experts, and make sure you weigh up your options (and the associated risks) carefully.