Revealed: The regional boomtowns where home prices are soaring

Situated on Corio Bay, the port city of Geelong is the nation's standout regional property market.

Situated on Corio Bay, the port city of Geelong is the nation's standout regional property market. Photo: Getty

As the property downturn deepens in Sydney and Melbourne, investors are turning their attention to once-ignored regional markets, with one town standing out among the pack of top performers.

No longer in Melbourne’s shadow, the Victorian port city of Geelong is the nation’s best performing regional market, according to a new report by property data company CoreLogic.

Situated on Corio Bay – an hour’s train-ride to Melbourne’s CBD – Geelong had a median price rise of 16.6 per cent, or $82,460 to $579,000, in the year to September 2018.

The Victorian city of Geelong is the nation’s standout regional property market. Source: CoreLogic

Median unit values rose rose by 11.9 per cent, or $42,624 to $399,000, in the same period, with a typical home in Geelong selling 12 days faster than it would in August 2017. Rents for houses and units rose $10 a week.

While the shuttering of the city’s Ford factory two years ago brought hundreds of lay-offs, Geelong – home to about 200,000 people – has since benefited from an influx of government infrastructure projects.

Its median house price soared by 43.6 per cent in the five years to 2018. The median unit price has risen 27.5 per cent in the same period.

New South Wales

New South Wales’ three major regions – Richmond-Tweed, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, and Illawarra – all had rising home values in the past year, CoreLogic found.

The largest increase was in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, where the median house price is up 9 per cent to $624,000. Richmond-Tweed had the largest increase in unit prices, up 9.3 per cent to $444,000.


Townsville was one of only two major regions in the country where  annual values fell for houses (-1.3 per cent to $302,000) and units (-3.9 per cent to $240,000), CoreLogic found.

The largest increase in house values was on the Sunshine Coast (7.7 per cent), followed by the Gold Coast (4.3 per cent), Wide Bay (1.7 per cent) and Cairns (1.4 per cent).

The Sunshine Coast had the largest increase in median unit value (5.3 per cent), followed by the Gold Coast (2.8 per cent). Median unit values in Cairns (-0.7 per cent) and Wide Bay (-0.6 per cent) fell during the year.

Western Australia

Bunbury was the only other major region where both units (-4.6 per cent to $364,000) and houses (-4.9 per cent to $288,000) dropped in the year to September 2018, CoreLogic found.

The Bunbury rental market remained unchanged over the year for houses, while units were down -1.6 per cent.

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