The horse has already bolted in the Sydney and Melbourne property markets, but one analyst says there’s plenty of pedigree further afield.
According to Hotspotting.com.au founder Terry Ryder, the key for investors is to follow the infrastructure.
A sea of high-vis jackets doesn’t just mean improved liveability for local residents, he says. It spells more jobs, stronger economic growth, and booming populations.
Together with affordable prices, in Mr Ryder’s mind these are the main drivers of value growth. Which is why he’s tipping the following ten areas as the best investment opportunities over the medium to long term.
1. Sunshine Coast, QLD
Given Mr Ryder’s focus on jobs and infrastructure, it’s perhaps unsurprising he sees the Sunshine Coast as Queensland’s “strongest property market”.
More than 20,000 jobs were added to the local economy over the past five years, he says, and a $20 billion infrastructure pipeline suggests there’s plenty more to come.
2. City of Marion, SA
The Tonsley Innovation District is generating a wave of innovative economic activity in the City of Marion, in south-west Adelaide.
Together with Flinders University’s $1.5 billion Flinders Village development, Tonsley is shaping Marion into a hub of innovation – and that’s boosted demand for property.
“In the past 12 months, Sheidow Park has delivered a 10 per cent increase in its median house price (now $470,000),” Mr Ryder notes.
“Good uplifts were also recorded at Edwardstown (up 8 per cent), Mitchell Park and Trott Park (both up 7 per cent) while O’Halloran Hill registered a 5% rise in its median house price.”
3. Bendigo, VIC
An Australian Defence Force contract worth $1.3 billion and a $630 million cash injection into Bendigo Hospital are just two of the reasons why Mr Ryder considers Bendigo to be Victoria’s number one investment market.
Vacancy rates below one per cent and a handful of nationally-focused companies only sweeten the deal.
“Bendigo is rising because of its own inherent strengths – including a strong and diverse economy – and its strong links to Melbourne,” Mr Ryder adds.
“A standout suburb is Epsom … the median house price [there] is $360,000, following a 2% increase in the last 12 months, according to CoreLogic.”
4. Moreton Bay Region, QLD
Designated as a regional growth area by the state government, Moreton Bay Region offers plenty of opportunities for the wily property investor.
The Moreton Bay University Precinct and North East Business Park provide a steady supply of jobs. Water views ensure the area will never go out of fashion. And recent changes to rezoning laws have paved the way for a new wave of residential estates.
“A number of Moreton Bay suburbs have recorded good price growth in the past 12 months, including Woody Point (8 per cent), Strathpine (7 per cent) and Bray Park, Burpengary East, Murrumba Downs, Narangba and Petrie which each grew 5 per cent,” Mr Ryder notes.
“The drawcards for these suburbs include affordable prices, new rail links, a new university campus (soon) and a bayside lifestyle.”
5. City of Stirling, WA
Stirling gets special mention because it’s the second-largest employment area in Western Australia and home to roughly $2 billion of urban regeneration projects.
Mr Ryder notes “this is having a positive effect on the Stirling property market where sales activity is rising, manifesting into price growth in some suburbs”.
6. Darebin, VIC
La Trobe University’s medical education facilities paved the road for Darebin’s transition into a knowledge-based economy – and the area’s status as a Major Activity Centre is further driving jobs growth.
Close links to Melbourne’s CBD also keep a lid on vacancy rates. And affordable prices mean low barriers to entry.
7. The City of Port Adelaide Enfield, SA
Nearly $100 billion of defence projects has encouraged more than 500 public servants to move into homes near Adelaide’s bustling shipyard.
Together with strong transport links to the CBD and vacancy rates that rarely top one per cent, the port’s ongoing revival is sowing the seeds of a property boom.
8. Mackay, QLD
It may have taken a big hit during the resources downturn, but Mr Ryder says Mackay, in central Queensland, is back on the up.
Steady growth in logistics, agribusiness and tourism means the city now boasts a strong, diversified economy. And close proximity to the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef provides further appeal.
9. Joondalup Precinct, WA
Sales activity in Joondalup has picked up significantly in recent months – and an enviable green lifestyle suggests that will soon lead to significant price growth.
The regional city also boasts strong links to Perth CBD and a handful of university campuses.
“The Joondalup LGA has seven suburbs with rising demand and five with consistent sales activity, marking it (once again) as a market leader in Perth,” notes Mr Ryder.
10. Latrobe Valley, VIC
Pretty much everywhere looks affordable next to Melbourne. But with median prices around the $200,000 price mark, Latrobe Valley looks particularly good value for money.
Throw in a $2 billion Australian Defence Force contract and a booming tourism trade, and it’s easy to see why it snuck into Mr Ryder’s top ten.