November was a strong month for smaller Australian cities, particularly Canberra, whose property market streaked ahead with an overall increase of 0.9 per cent.
Hobart continued its strong run with a price increase of 0.6 per cent and Melbourne was again steady in growth with an increase of 0.5 per cent.
The median house price in Canberra is now $588,788 with Hobart at $398,093 and Melbourne at $718,325.
Overall, Canberra’s housing values gained 10.6 per cent over the last year, which beat the national average of 9.2 per cent. It has performed particularly well in the last three months recording gains of 1.3 per cent over the period.
CoreLogic Head of Research Tim Lawless attributed Canberra’s gains down to "reasonably strong jobs growth". He also cited public sector wages growth outperforming wages in the private sector. Given Australia’s capital city has the highest concentration of public service roles, this has helped deliver the strong property results.
Domain chief economist Andrew Wilson has pegged eight suburbs in Canberra as rising stars for housing areas – Casey, Palmerston, Spence, Cook, Lyons, Chifley, Waramanga and Banks. Unit areas to watch include Nicholls, O’Connor, Barton and Wright.
I looked at the previous trends for growth in 2016 and these suburbs have all been at the top in terms of the level of growth, but more importantly, there’s been a positive trend throughout the entire year. That shows that there’s some underlying strength in terms of demand for these suburbs.
State Custodians General Manager Joanna Pretty says it’s no wonder smaller cities are starting to appeal more and more to buyers. "A good quality lifestyle is vitally important to many buyers nowadays," she says. "Many of these smaller cities have less traffic, great facilities and attractions, so it’s clear to see the appeal."
Things are also looking more positive in the West with the Perth market slowly beginning to recover with gains of 0.2 per cent. Other cities also Brisbane facing a continuation of slow and steady growth are Brisbane (0.1 per cent increase) and Adelaide (flat on 0.0 per cent).
Meanwhile in New South Wales the Sydney market continues to struggle, recording a slump of -0.7 per cent, although the regional areas of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie recorded strong gains, lifting by 13 per cent in the past year.
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