Reaction to the first property price increase since October 2017 has been mixed, to say the least.
To some, it was the first step on the long road to recovery.
To others, it is the by-product of modest demand meeting extremely limited supply.
To others still, reason for regulators to edge their feet closer to the brake pedal.
Whatever your interpretation of the median price movements, though, Terry Ryder considers it irrelevant.
The founder of hotspotting.com.au says sales volumes are a better predictor of future growth than median price data. And he’s encouraging investors to look beyond Sydney and Melbourne.
As Mr Ryder sees it, the 10 local government areas set to experience the greatest price growth are: Belconnen, ACT, Bendigo, VIC, Brisbane North, QLD, Charles Sturt, SA, Joondalup, WA, Melville, WA, Marion, SA, Port Adelaide Enfield, SA, Onkaparinga, SA, and Sunshine Coast, QLD.
He has tipped suburbs such as Dunlop on the outskirts of Canberra, Epsom in Bendigo, Little Mountain and Landsborough on the Sunshine Coast, Flinders Park and Seaton in South Australia, and Ballina and Kooringal in regional New South Wales to do particularly well over the next nine to 12 months.
Mr Ryder said this was partly because of improved affordability in these areas, and partly because of strong jobs creation, high infrastructure spending and steady population growth.
“Property markets arise out of what’s happening locally – it’s not so much about national factors. It’s not really about lower interest rates, it’s about the dynamics of local economies,” Mr Ryder said.
“There’s a lot of growth markets in regional Victoria, because Victoria as a state has a very strong economy and strong population growth.
“And, in Queensland, the Sunshine Coast has been strong because the local economy is really bumping. There’s been big spending on infrastructure and new industries have been created, like the new medical precinct.”
Mr Ryder included the 10 local government areas in the winter 2019 edition of his Price Predictor Index – a report aimed at investors that breaks down the price prospects of suburbs in all states except the Northern Territory.
Mr Ryder said the seasonal index, which highlighted Adelaide as the state capital with the strongest growth prospects, shows the idea of a national property downturn is misleading.
“The way economists talk about the property market as one market is a huge piece of misinformation,” he said.
“They’re now talking about the Australian property market recovery, but many markets aren’t recovering because they never dropped.”
Suburbanite director and property valuer Anna Porter offered similar projections, tipping suburbs in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth to experience the strongest price growth over the next three to five years.
Infrastructure spending, strong jobs creation and high levels of buyer demand would underpin strong growth in Adelaide and Brisbane, Ms Porter said.
Affordable prices coupled with major public projects painted a rosy picture for Brisbane.
And “renewed confidence and employment opportunities” meant there were plenty of longer-term opportunities in Perth, too.
“Some of the areas we really like in Canberra are suburbs in and around Gungahlin … one because you’ve got a lot of good services and amenities, but also because you’ve got the new trams that pass through,” Ms Porter told The New Daily.
“In Adelaide, there are areas that are a little undiscovered 25 minutes south of Adelaide CBD … Morphett Vale and Woodcroft, even up as far as Edwardstown – they are affordable, they have good rental demand, they have good infrastructure and facilities, and they have lots of jobs.”
Wynnum, in Brisbane’s east, also gets a special mention. As does Nundah, in Brisbane’s inner north.
Ms Porter said the key to picking the next growth suburb was to look at vacancy rates, the suburb’s median price movement over the past 12 months, and the median number of days it took for properties in that suburb to sell.
“We analyse a whole lot of other statistics,” Ms Porter said.
“But I’d say to anyone looking to get their head around a market, that’s where you’d start.”