Real estate consumers often fixate on the idea that individual suburbs will do better than their neighbours. I’m constantly asked for my opinion of one suburb or another, on the basis that the target location has special qualities and it will out-perform others.
The reality is that it’s rare for one suburb to star while its neighbours under-perform. Market performance tends to happen in clusters, with a group of suburbs with similar qualities being influenced by the same factors, such as a major new piece of infrastructure.
So at Hotspotting we tend to think in terms of Local Government Areas. Our quarterly editions of The Price Predictor Index focus primarily on municipalities, looking for patterns of growth within clusters of suburbs.
The list below, my estimation of the leading LGAs in the nation for rising buyer demand, may surprise because of the number of precincts within Adelaide that feature – but if you study the numbers and the trends, it’s evident that Adelaide is the most consistent of markets and has more momentum that other capital cities.
It has a number of precincts with above-average price growth and the potential for future strong performance.
Here, then, is my national top 10 municipalities in terms of growth momentum (listed in alphabetical order):-
I regard Canberra as the strongest real estate economy in Australia, with the nation’s highest average incomes and the lowest unemployment. It is challenging Victoria for the No.1 ranking on population growth, it has low vacancies and it often leads on rental growth. The Belconnen District is Canberra’s No.1 jurisdiction for suburbs with rising sales activity. This precinct has a number of affordable suburbs, vacancies are well below 1%, rental yields are solid and some suburbs have grown their median prices 6-7% in the past 12 months.
Bendigo is now the leading market in Victoria in terms of the number of suburbs with rising demand, having overtaken other strong markets like Geelong and Ballarat. It’s attracting both home-buyers and investors out of Melbourne, chasing affordability and/or better rental yields in a growth centre. Many Bendigo suburbs have median prices in the $300,000s, emphasising the city’s affordability. Bendigo is rising because of its own inherent strengths - including a strong and diverse economy - and its strong links to Melbourne.
BRISBANE NORTH QLD
The Brisbane North precinct (the northern suburbs of the Brisbane City Council area) is the most active part of the Brisbane market, which is poised for stronger growth. This middle-ring area has 10 suburbs with rising sales demand, including Alderley where quarterly sales have been 28-37-48-50-52 in the past year or so: its median prices have risen 5% for houses and 22% for units. Other growth suburbs include Boondall, Chermside West, Everton Park, Kedron, McDowall, Sandgate, Stafford, Stafford Heights and Wavell Heights. These are all middle-market areas with median prices in the $600,000s and $700,000s.
CHARLES STURT SA
The Charles Sturt LGA extends north-west from central Adelaide out to the beaches and includes a range of good suburbs, including eight where sales activity is rising steadily. They include inner-city Brompton (where quarterly sales have been 23, 32, 38 and 50) as well as middle-market suburbs like Findon, Seaton, Flinders Park (quarterly sales 22, 25, 25, 32, 35 and 38), Woodville South and Fulham Gardens. Henley Beach and West Beach also have growth momentum. Good price growth is happening in this area, including Henley Beach South (median house price up 15% to $985,000).
The Joondalup LGA continues to be a stand-out for its steadiness and resilience against the Perth downturn and is poised to lead the city’s market recovery. It now has eight suburbs with rising sales momentum, which makes it No.1 in Perth and among the best of the nation’s LGAs. The suburbs of this LGA are based around the Joondalup CBD, which is a centre for infrastructure and services for Perth’s north. Growth markets include Burns Beach, Duncraig, Edgewater, Greenwood, Joondalup, Mullaloo and Padbury, many of which offer good affordability.
The Marion LGA, a middle-market area in the south-west of Adelaide which has been a market leader for the past 18 months, is once again a standout market. It has nine suburbs with rising sales patterns, including Ascot Park, Edwardstown, Glengowrie, Hallett Cove, Marion, O’Halloran Hill and Seacombe Gardens. Warradale makes our National Top 50 list of rising suburbs, with quarterly sales of 30-36-41: its median house price of $595,000 is typical of the Marion LGA’s middle-ring affordability.
The City of Melville in Perth’s inner south is one of the precincts leading the market fightback in the WA capital. It has seven growth markets and seven consistent performers. Suburbs with rising sales demand include Attadale, Bull Creek, Kardinya, Leeming, Mt Pleasant and Palmyra - some of which are million-dollar suburbs but most are middle-market areas. The star is Willagee, which makes our National Top 50 list with quarterly sales of 25-39-46-51 - and the latest quarter also shows sign of growth in the median house price ($520,000).
PORT ADELAIDE ENFIELD SA
The Port Adelaide Enfield LGA emerged in 2018 as an up-and-coming market in the SA capital - and continues to be one of the busiest precincts in Adelaide. Our latest survey reveals seven suburbs with rising activity, including Croydon Park, Dernancourt, Greenacres, North Haven, Rosewater and Royal Park. Dernancourt features in our National Top 50 list. This precinct is being boosted by major local events, including the massive program of building vessels for the Australian Navy and ongoing development around the port. The Osborne Naval Shipyard is undergoing a $535 million upgrade to accommodate the building of 40 new Defence craft; 500 public servants are being moved here; and a new rail spur is proposed to link the Port’s commercial centre and the Dock One residential precinct to the Adelaide CBD.
As we have observed many times, Onkaparinga always features prominently in our analysis of the Adelaide market. It currently has seven suburbs with growth momentum – including Aldinga Beach (where quarterly sales have been 54-63-67-70), which features in our National Top 50 list of supercharged suburbs. Other growth markets include Christies Beach, Hackham, Happy Valley, Old Reynella and Seaford. This LGA ticks a lot of boxes for investors: it has lifestyle, affordability, improved transport links, economic growth drivers, population growth and proximity to major jobs nodes.
SUNSHINE COAST QLD
The Sunshine Coast continues to be the strongest of the Queensland markets, both in terms of rising sales activity and price growth. It’s rising while the more high-profile Gold Coast market is falling. The Sunshine Coast has 10 suburbs with rising buyer demand and another 13 have consistent sales activity. Landsborough and Little Mountain feature on our National Top 50 list. Over 60% of Regional Queensland markets have median prices higher than a year ago. Of the higher growth markets, 21 have increased by more than 10%, and 10 of those 21 locations are Sunshine Coast suburbs, led by Eumundi (28%), Sunshine Beach (15%), Twin Waters (15%) and Wurtulla (15%).
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